Improved First-Time Homebuyer Credit The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
itemed by Administrator (admin) on May 07 2009 at 11:26 AM
RockRidge Financial Blog >> The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009


Last year's Housing Act included a refundable tax credit for first-time homebuyers equal to the lesser of 10% of the purchase price or $7,500 for qualifying purchases after Apr. 1, 2008 and before July 1, 2009. The credit is essentially an interest-free loan because it has to be paid back to the government over 15 years.
The Recovery Act has improved the credit for 2009 purchases by (1) eliminating the requirement to pay it back (subject to exceptions), (2) increasing the maximum credit to $8,000, and (3) making it available for purchases through November 2009.
You can treat a 2009 purchase as having been made on Dec. 31, 2008 and thus get an immediate refund when you file your 2008 taxes by the Apr. 15, 2009 filing deadline. Even if you have already filed your 2008 taxes, you can file an amended 2008 return to get the credit for a 2009 purchase.
You are considered a first-time homebuyer if you or (or your spouse, if married) had no present ownership interest in a principal residence in the U.S. during the 3-year period before the purchase of the home to which the credit applies.
The first time homebuyer credit, whether claimed in 2008 or 2009, phases out for individual taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $95,000 ($150,000–$170,000 for joint filers).