I found a great article in US Today about the extension of the current Home Buyer Credits. Here are the highlights of that article. For the original article click here.
The new legislation provides a $6,500 tax credit for some current homeowners who buy another home. The law also extends the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, scheduled to expire Nov. 30, until next spring.
Here are some commonly asked questions –
Q: How do I qualify for the $6,500 credit?
A: This credit is available for home buyers who sign a binding contract on a new or existing home by April 30, 2010, and settle by July 1 (deadlines that also apply to the first-time home buyer credit). You must have lived in your existing home for five consecutive years out of the last eight. The home you purchase must be your primary residence. However, the law doesn’t require you to sell your old home, says Bob Meighan, vice president at TurboTax, the tax software provider. You can use it as a second home or a rental and still claim the credit, he says.
Q: I sold a home I had lived in for more than five years and bought a new one in August. Do I qualify for a tax credit?
A: No. For existing homeowners, the $6,500 credit is limited to homes purchased after Nov. 6.
Q: I’m an existing homeowner, and would like to build a new home. Can I claim the credit?
A: Yes, but make sure your builder is good at meeting deadlines. You can claim the credit as long as you have a binding contract in place by April 30 and close by July 1. In the case of a new home, the closing date is the day you move in. If your home isn’t habitable by June 30, you won’t be able to claim the credit, he says.
Q: I bought a home in 2008 and claimed the old $7,500 first-time home buyer’s credit, which must be repaid over 15 years. Did the new law change that rule?
A: No. That credit, which was available for homes purchased between April 9, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2008, must still be repaid.
The $8,000 first-time home buyer credit, available for homes purchased after Dec. 31, 2008, doesn’t have to be repaid as long as you remain in the home for at least three years. Existing homeowners who qualify for the $6,500 credit don’t have to repay that money, either, as long as they meet the three-year requirement.
Q: We have a rental home and would like to sell it to our son, who has never owned a home. Would he qualify for the first-time home buyer credit?
A: No. The legislation specifically prohibits taxpayers from claiming the credit if the sale is between “related parties,” Meighan says. A home sale to a parent, grandparent, child or grandchild would fall into that category.
Remember that tax credits are just one thing to consider when buying a home. Also, you should review the advice in this article with your tax professional, as taxes are highly dependent on your individual situations.
If you’d like to learn more on this topic or have questons give us a call or shoot us an email.
Jeremy Beck | 858-273-3639 | Jeremy@GreenMeansGrow.com