Marilee Poon

Coldwell Banker United, Realtors- The Woodlands
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$8000 Tax Credit for Home Buyers: Need to Close before December 2009

September 8th, 2009

$8,000 Tax Credit for First Time Homebuyers: Time is Ticking...

Note: This is intended to provide an overview only – for specific information or individual concerns, please contact your lawyer, accountant and/or financial advisor.

There is still time to purchase a home and qualify for the $8000 tax credit, but time is ticking.  Congress passed a federal income tax credit for first-time homebuyers that  is the lesser of either 10% of the home’s cost or $8,000.  This is available to qualified first-time home buyers for the purchase of a principal residence that closes before December 1, 2009.
  • The tax credit is available for first-time homebuyers or those who have not owned in the last three years.  
  • The credit does not require repayment (unlike the 2008 iteration of the credit).  The credit will be claimed on a tax return to reduce the purchaser's income tax liability.  If any credit amount remains unused, then the unused amount will be refunded. 
  • If the home is sold within three years of purchase, the entire amount of credit is recaptured on sale.
This measure can help to significantly lower housing inventory, bring stability to home values and move the country closer to economic recovery.  It can also help get individuals and families into their first home and into home ownership.  The following chart provides more information:





Amount of Credit


The amount of the homebuyer federal income tax credit is the lesser of 10% of the cost of the home bought or $8,000.

Eligible Property


Any single-family residence (including a condo, co-op, or townhouse) may be an eligible property under the homebuyer income tax credit, provided it will be used as the homebuyer’s principal residence.



This homebuyer income tax credit reduces income tax liability. The $8,000 tax credit is a clean refundable credit, unlike the one that was passed last summer, which required a repayment. If you qualify as a first-time buyer (i.e., haven't been a homeowner in the past 3 years), then you can claim the $8,000 to reduce your tax burden. If the $8,000 is greater than the tax you owe, then you will get a refund check for the difference. Example: you owe $2,000 in taxes on April 15, 2010. But if you bought a home before the stimulus expiration on Dec. 1, 2009, then you will get a tax refund check for $6,000 from the IRS.*

Income Limit


In order to be eligible for the homebuyer income tax credit in full, the homebuyer can have an annual adjusted gross income of no more than $75,000 ($150,000 on a joint return).  A homebuyer with an annual adjusted gross income above that level and up to $95,000 ($170,000 on a joint return) is eligible for a reduced tax credit.

First-time Homebuyer Only


The homebuyer income tax credit is designed for first-time homebuyers, which means the homebuyer (and/or the homebuyer’s spouse) can not have owned a principal residence in the 3 years prior to purchase of the eligible property.

Revenue Bond Financing


A homebuyer who utilizes revenue bond financing may be eligible for the homebuyer income tax credit.



There is no repayment of the homebuyer income tax credit by the homebuyer.



However, if the eligible property is resold within three years of purchase, the entire amount of homebuyer income tax credit is recaptured on the sale.  

Effective Date


The First-Time Homebuyer Federal Income Tax Credit is effective for purchases on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. This guide reflects a modification from the First-Time Homebuyer Federal Income Tax Credit, which remains in effect for homes purchased by eligible homebuyers between April 9, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2008.

For more information or with help in finding and purchasing a home, please contact me at or by phone at 936-442-1699.

Information courtesy of and

Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Houston Association of REALTORS®

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Coldwell Banker United, Realtors- The Woodlands
1335 Lake Woodlands Dr, Ste C, The Woodlands, TX 77380   Get Directions
Phone: (281) 363-2500
Fax: (281) 363-2740
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