$8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

Are you going to be a first-time home buyer this year? Then you may want to take advantage of the new $8,000 tax credit. There are some rules, so let me explain: Some recent analysis indicates that the following rules may apply – albeit some changes could be forthcoming as we get the “weigh in” from tax professionals around the nation:

The deduction is worth 10 percent of a home’s value up to $8,000. This means that if you buy a $60,000 home – your credit will be $6,000. It also means that all homes purchased for more than $80,000 may qualify for the maximum credit amount of $8,000.

Income Limits for a full tax credit: A married couples’ modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) should be under $150,000 and; Single filers’ MAGI should be less than $75,000. Partial tax credits may also be available for those who may more than the limits listed above. To be eligible for a partial tax credit, married couples must have a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) over $150,000 but under $170,000; and single filers with incomes over $75,000 but under $95,000.

Married couples filing separately: Both claim 5 percent of the home’s purchase price on their tax returns. This means that for a home purchased at $80,000 or more, each can receive a $4,000 credit each.

There are also a few other issues to consider as well:

Unlike a tax deduction, this is a tax credit. That means the entire amount goes back to the first-time home buyer! Deductions on the other hand, such as mortgage interest, are subtracted from gross income before tax is calculated and reduce you taxable income. If qualified for $8,000, the buyer gets $8,000; even if they would not owe that much in taxes otherwise.

The tax credit applies to homes purchased between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 1, 2009. The tax credit does not have to be paid back, providing the home buyer keeps the property for at least 36 months and resides in the home.

To qualify as a first-time home buyer, the purchaser cannot have owned a home within the previous three-year period. However, ownership of a vacation home or rental home does not disqualify the buyer. If purchasing a new home, the effective date to receive the credit is the first day the homeowner actually lives in the house. If construction began in 2008, that buyer could still qualify. And if construction begins in 2009, but the owner does not take possession until 2010, the buyer would not qualify.

The tax credit can be claimed on 2008 income tax forms even though the purchase took place in 2009. A buyer could close on a home the same day that the President signs it into law, fill out their income tax forms the next day, and receive the tax credit fairly quickly.

The tax credit is not a down payment, but it could be used toward a down payment if first-time homebuyers plan ahead. U.S. taxpayers have money withheld from every paycheck for income taxes. If they owe more tax than the amount deducted, they pay the IRS; if they owe less, they get a tax refund. By anticipating at least an $8,000 refund in early 2010 when they file 2009 taxes, these buyers could cut down on their tax withholding this year and save the money toward a down payment.

If the taxpayer does not buy a home in the qualifying period, they could still owe the IRS the money, and reducing their withholding amount could result in a high bill at tax time.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your tax professional or IRS for specific information regarding your taxes

Ric Del Vizo,
Licensed Real Estate Agent.
Coffey & Company Realty,
Sarasota, Florida.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ric_Del_Vizo

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