First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

what is a first time home buyer tax credit

Rob Kelly Real Estate Agent Louisville, CO (303) 666-6500 Contact Profile

I work with alot of first time home buyers and have had many questions regarding the $8000 tax credit. Here's a nice piece about First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit.

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

Answers to the most commonly asked questions

by Land Title Guarantee Company

May 2009

In its efforts to stimulate the economy and revive the housing market, Congress has enacted legislation that provides a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, signed into law on February 17, 2009, is a stimulus package that makes a non-repayable tax credit of up to $8,000 to qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009, and before December 1, 2009.

• The tax credit is for first-time home buyers only. For the tax credit program, the IRS defines a first-time home buyer as someone who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase.

• The tax credit does not have to be repaid.

• The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home's purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.

• The credit is available for homes purchased on or after January 1, 2009, and before December 1, 2009.

• Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit.

The following information has been edited for length and is used with permission from the National Association of Home Builders' website, www.FederalHousingTaxCredit.com .

Who is eligible to claim the tax credit?

First-time home buyers purchasing any kind of home-new or resale-are eligible for the tax credit. To qualify for the tax credit, a home purchase must occur on or after January 1, 2009, and before December 1, 2009. For the purposes of the tax credit, the purchase date is the date when closing occurs and the title to the property transfers to the homeowner.

What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?

The law defines "first-time home buyer" as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. For married taxpayers, the law tests the homeownership

history of both the home buyer and his or her spouse. For example, if you have not owned a home in the past three years but your spouse has owned a principal residence, neither you nor your spouse qualifies for the first-time home buyer tax credit. However, unmarried joint purchasers may allocate the credit amount to any buyer who qualifies as a first-time buyer, such as may occur if a parent jointly purchases a home with a son or daughter. Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer.

How is the amount of the tax credit determined?

The tax credit is equal to10 percent of the home's purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.

Are there any income limits for claiming the tax credit?

Yes. The income limit for single taxpayers is $75,000; the limit is $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return. The tax credit amount is reduced for buyers with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of more than $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return. The phase-out range for the tax credit program is equal to $20,000. That is, the tax credit amount is reduced to zero for taxpayers with MAGI of more than $95,000 (single) or $170,000 (married) and is reduced proportionally for taxpayers with MAGIs between these amounts.

What is "modified adjusted gross income"?

Modified adjusted gross income or MAGI is defined by the IRS. To find it, a taxpayer must first determine "adjusted gross income" or AGI. AGI is total income for a year minus certain deductions (known as "adjustments" or "above the-line deductions"), but before itemized deductions from Schedule A or personal exemptions are subtracted. On Forms 1040 and 1040A, AGI is the last number on page 1 and first number on page 2 of the form. For Form 1040-EZ, AGI appears on line 4 (as of 2007). Note that AGI includes all forms of income including wages, salaries, interest income, dividends, and capital gains. To determine modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), add to AGI certain amounts such as foreign income, foreign-housing deductions, student-loan deductions, IRA-contribution deductions, and deductions for higher-education costs.

If my modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is above the limit, do I qualify for any tax credit?

Source: activerain.trulia.com

Category: Credit

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