Congress both extended and expanded the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit program Thursday.
The program’s basic eligibility requirements remain the same:
The new law includes some notable updates, however.
For one, the definition of “first-time home buyer” has been expanded to include most homeowners with at least 5 years in their current home. “Move-up” buyers like these are now eligible for IRS tax credits, but with a cap at $6,500.
This means that you don’t have to be a true first-time home buyer to claim the “first-time home buyer tax credit”.
Other eligibility changes include:
And remember, the First-Time Home Buyer program grants a tax credit as opposed to a deduction. This means that a tax filer would receive a cash payment of $2,000 from the U.S. Treasury if his “normal” tax liability totals $6,000 and he was eligible for all $8,000 available under the new law.
The complete list of qualifying criteria is posted on the IRS website. Be sure to review it with a tax professional to determine your eligibility. Then mark your calendar for April 30, 2009.
It’s 5 months away. Don’t wait get out and start shopping if you have been sitting on the fence. Also check out TheBuyer411.com to help you in your home search