Question: Allison – We’re confused! Every time we turn around we see something different about the first time home buyer credit. Has anything been resolved?
 
Answer: You aren’t the only one! The tax credit has been a moving target and hard to pin down, but it has finally been finalized! Now is the time to buy a home and the “First Time Home Buyer Credit” is one of the major reasons.
 
According to Jim Doyle, of Lake Dillon Mortgage, the bill provides for a $8,000 tax credit that would be available to first-time home buyers for the purchase of a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. The credit does not require repayment.  It can be claimed with the filing of either 2008 or 2009 taxes.   And can be  claimed on the  tax return to reduce the purchaser's income tax liability. If any credit amount remains unused, then the unused amount will be refunded as a check to the purchaser. This tax credit is what's called "refundable" credit. Thus, if the eligible purchaser's total tax liability was $6000, the IRS would send the purchaser a check for $2000. The refundable amount is the difference
 
A person is considered a first-time buyer if he/she has not had any ownership interest in a home in the three years previous to the day of the 2009 purchase.
 
There are income restrictions  based on the purchasers tax filing status. Individuals filing Form 1040 as Single (or Head of Household) are eligible for the credit if their income is no more than $75,000. Married couples who file a Joint return may have income of no more than $150,000. The credit does not totally go away at those income levels but  phases-out between $75,000 - $95,000 for singles and $150,000 - $170,000 for married filing jointly.
 
This chart compares the new stuff to the old stuff! 
 
FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER TAX CREDIT
As Modified in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Major Modifications Italicized
March 2009
FEATURE
CREDIT AS CREATED JULY 2008
APPLIES TO ALL QUALIFIED PURCHASES ON OR AFTER APRIL 9, 2008
REVISED CREDIT –
EFFECTIVE FOR PURCHASES ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2009 AND BEFORE DECEMBER 1, 2009
Amount of Credit
Lesser of 10 percent of cost of home or $7500
Maximum credit amount increased to $8000
Eligible Property
Any single family residence (including condos, co-ops, townhouses) that will be used as a principal residence.
No change
All principal residences eligible.
Refundable
Yes. Reduces (or can eliminate) income tax liability for the year of purchase. Any unused amount of tax credit refunded to purchaser.
No change
Purchasers will continue to receive refund for unused amount when tax return is filed.
Income Limit
Yes. Full amount of credit available for individuals with adjusted gross income of no more than $75,000 ($150,000 on a joint return). Phases out above those caps ($95,000 and $170,000).
No change
Same income limits continue to apply.
First-time Homebuyer Only
Yes. Purchaser (and purchaser’s spouse) may not have owned a principal residence in 3 years previous to purchase.
No change
Still available for first-time purchasers only. Three-year rule continues to apply.
Revenue Bond Financing
No credit allowed if home financed with state/local bond funding.
Purchasers who utilize revenue bond financing can use credit.
Repayment
Yes. Portion (6.67% of credit or $500) to be repaid each year for 15 years, starting with 2010 tax filing.
No repayment for purchases on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009
Recapture
If home sold before 15-year repayment period ends, then outstanding balance of repayment amount recaptured on sale.
If home is sold within three years of purchase, entire amount of credit is recaptured on sale. Applies only to homes purchased in 2009.
Termination
July 1, 2009
(But note program changes for 2009)
December 1, 2009
Effective Date
Purchases on or after April 9, 2008 and before January 1, 2009. Repayment to begin for 2010 tax year.
All revisions are effective as of January 1, 2009
 



 
 
For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Allison is a long time local in Summit County. Summit Real Estate – The Simson/Nenninger Team is located at the Dillon Ridge Marketplace. Allison’s long-time residency and years of real estate experience can help you make the most of any buying or selling situation. She’s a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), the highest designation awarded to a Realtor in the residential sales field. Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit www.SummitHomeValue.com