$8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

IMPORTANT: This article applies to a tax credit in 2008 and 2009 that has now expired. Use this information for historical purposes only. The information here does NOT apply to current tax years.

My article on the $7,500 first time home buyer tax credit has become one of the most popular on this site, with well over 200 comments. As part of this month’s economic stimulus bill, that credit is changing to an $8,000 tax credit that, unlike the first credit, will not have to be repaid. Here’s what we know:.

First of all, there is no $15,000 tax credit for new home buyers. That amount was originally part of the economic stimulus bill, but was reduced as part of spending cuts. It’s now an $8,000 credit. Next up, here’s how you qualify for this credit:

  • Purchase a primary residence between January 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010 (purchase agreement must be signed by April 30 and you must close by June 30)
  • With some exceptions, this purchase must be the first piece of real estate you have ever purchased
  • You must stay in the home for at least three years

Update: Read more about how to claim the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. You may also want to read up on whether it makes sense to buy a home in this recession.

Update #2:Given the fact that I think this $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit is one of the most important financial opportunities for young Americans today; I have expanded my coverage of the credit with a frequently asked questions section.

Ready to go house-hunting? Save time, money, and aggravation by lining up your financing first with a mortgage pre-approval. Read my post on how to get no-obligation mortgage quotes online.

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.


  1. I purchased a Forclosed property for the specific purpose of letting my Son finance it and live there. I understand that this will not comply with the rules of the 8,000 credit because he purchased it from me? Is this correct?

  2. you don’t “receive” money. It is a tax CREDIT. All he needs to do is claim it on his 2009 tax return. It then becomes a credit and should he be receiving a refund for his 2009 tax filing, he will then receive a check.

  3. My son filed for this credit and it has been a royal headache since that day (jul 09), He has sent in his information 3 – 4 times and talked to the IRS numerous time, They have denied his claim twice for not receiving information although the data was faxed to the IRS as requested.
    This is being used as a ploy to get young people to purchase homes, so it appears as though the housing market is picking up. I am only aware of one person that actually received money from the IRS. To data all they have done for my son is given him the run around, we are now 7 months later and still no money and still the run around from the IRS.
    Get ready to dig in your heals if you decide to go this route to purchase a home. Also don’t bet on the money ever being delivered to you. At this point its just a ploy.

  4. happy as heaven says:

    A Graig u rock. Thats how its told. Mad as hel. U need to get the f out if you dont like it. I pay my dues and if I get a tax credit it cause I deserve it. I put alot back into this country and its about time to get something back.

  5. we’re already paying for it. We pay for it every time we get a paycheck. When was the last time you were not double-triple, or even quadruple taxed?
    It’s easy for un-employed, disabled, part-time employee, or students to bad-mouth the system when they seem to have it all figured out. I have been a tax payer for 25+ years in this country. I pay taxes on my income, on everything I buy, every dividend I earn from MY earned money, every gallon of fuel I use to drive to work, and then once a year, Uncle Sam tells me I didn’t pay enough taxes, so I get to pay more. I bought a home so I can KEEP some of what I earned. if Uncle Sam wants to give me some extra money to fix up the house I bought at 70% off because some low-life, dead-beat non-paying scumb bag decided to vandalize the place before the bank(who shouldn’t have loaned them the money in the first place since they obviously couldn’t afford it)repossessed it, then that’s my prerogative. Just explain to me again why this is a bad idea? And explain to me where my social security money will be when I retire? Oh, and explain to me again why I have to pay MY loan back, when Joe who closed escrow 15 days later does not. Make sense, and I’ll listen. Spout off ignorance, and I’ll ignore you…next time.

  6. mad as hell says:

    Has anyone even thought of where the HELL is this money coming from to stimulate the economy? HELLO MORANS YOU ARE ADDING TO THE DEFICIET! Its doing nothing but hurting the economy than its helping, heck look at what Clinton did this is why we are in the situation we are in now! Whats going to happen when we cannot afford to pay this 8K to everyone who bought a house last year? OH I forgot we will just print more money! I forgot our president and government think we have a money tree! This just proves how stupid and ignorant people are to stuff! This is what happens when government makes rules and regulations on the housing industry but forget they know nothing about how it works or never have worked in it before they just think it sounds good an whose left to clean up there mess the TAX PAYERS! We the ones getting the shaft while they are making it sound like there doing you a favor!

  7. I took advantage of the $7500 tax credit since I closed escrow on 12/16/2008 on my first home. When I heard that I missed the $8000 tax credit by 15 days, I was upset. When they expanded this tax credit, they could easily have gone retro-active to 10/31/08 OR make the credit non-payable(pay back) for those home buyers who purchased homes within 90 days of the 1/01/09 tax credit date. I am fortunate to have the tax credit, but I am saddened that not only did someone who closed escrow 14 days later get a bigger tax credit, but they never have to pay theirs back. I find this disturbing. It reminds me of the commercial with the two little girls and the toy pony vs real pony. favoritism is no way to help the economy.

  8. Is there any way around the new income max? I closed on my new home in Sept ’09 and did not qualify for the $7.5k credit, but it sounds like the limit has been increased, but only if I bought a house after Nov.

  9. Does it matter if you owned a home in different state as your primary resident and sold it less than three years ago to quailify for the 8,000 tax credit for firt time buyers?

  10. Mike says “THANK YOU PRESIDENT BUSH” what an idiot!!!! Five days before the 9/11 catastrophe Mr. BuckFush signed the P4P agreement with Canada , Mexico and the U.S. In that agreement he appropriated $400 billion to place 5 million mexican immigrants in homes by 2010. He also removed ALL regulations governing Wall st. , Banks and the Mortgage industry. It allowed Wall street to sell over 100 trillion in credit default swaps worldwide. Wall street and the Federal Reservew (Bush’s real boss’s) knew these were toxic and they were not insured and were guaranteed to explode, which they did. My Son has been trying to buy a home as a first time home buyer for 2.5 months and we have been beat out 13 times by cash buying investors. None of the banks want to modify loans or at least very damn few do because it’s easier to throw people out and then collect on their own default insurance for 70% of the money then make up the differance by selling the homes dirt cheap at an auction or a reduced price.Get over it….Obama is President and thats final!With everything that the NAZI Buckfush set in motion with the P4P agreement, the Revised Patriot act and his NSPD-51 in May of 2007 I really doubt if AMERICA as we have known it will even be around after mid 2010. So get ready WHINERS there are drastic changes coming!!!

  11. That is so nice of the government,I wish government in our country will offer such good things to us.

  12. As long as you have not purchased a home within the last three years you can qualify as a first time home buyer

  13. JoAnn DeVall says:

    I want to know if I can quaify for the first time homebuyers money this year. I purchased a home in 1997 and lost it due to a divorce settlement about 2007. I did not take any first time homebuyer loans on it and I took a loss on the whole operation. The home was sold, because of the divorce. Iseen some language on eceptions for reasons of divorce settlements. Does anyone know how that would play out? I moved out of state in 2005 and live there since then, for 3 years. I have not resided in that home since after I left. But it was still in my name until it was sold it 2007 April. Would I still be able to get the tax break, because I’m getting ready to buy a new home.

  14. So I was just wondering: I usually get around $3000 back on my income tax… so when I buy a house, does that mean that I will get that PLUS the additional $8000 tax credit, which will equal around $11,000? Right? Am I right or wrong? Please let me know!! Thanks!!

  15. Wes Wolfe says:

    I recently read in the paper that Obama had said the the tax credit could be used for closing costs or down payment. Is this true?

  16. I want to know if I can quaify for the first time homebuyers money this year. I purchased a home 4 years ago and lost it due to a divorce settlement about 18 month ago. I did not take any first time homebuyer loans on it and I took a loss on the whole operation. I lost the home to my former spouse. I have seen some language on eceptions for reasons of divorce settlements. Does anyone know how that would play out? Over the past 3 years I only resided in that home for full time for one year and was living separate for a large portion of that time but the home was still in my name until she sold it last April.


  17. Hello, can anyone tell me whether or not my husband who is purchasing a home in his name only would qualify for the 8000 tax credit?
    I own a duplex and live in it currently and also rent out half…he is not on any loans or titles for that place. He has not owned anything in the last three years either. Confused, any info would be great. Thanks

  18. Rick –
    look into a gift of equity as a condition of the sale of the house. Then that becomes he down payment. Might need a prenup before you turn over everything to her but it gets you off as a co signer.

    good luck

  19. Tonya- the problem would be that not everyone gets a significant amount on their return

  20. I am in contract for a new construction and have not owned a home in the past three years. My usual tax return is around 5500. This year I got that PLUS 7500 for the home tax credit. The stupulation is that over the next 15 years, instead of getting 5500, i will get 5000. there is no money coming out of my pocket. If I sell the house within three years, I have to give the tax credit back from the proceeds from the sale of the home. I am not sure why everyone is so upset because technically no money is coming out of our pocket. I know some dont have to repay the tax credit, but so what! What if the government was not giving anything at all to anyone? I have to repay, but am grateful to have garnered the closing cost, money for the upgrades, plus whatever else I want to spend the money on. The payback is reasonable to me whether I have to “repay” or not.

  21. InfiniteLoop says:

    We sold our home in 2008 and purchased a new home in 2009. We figured our family was expanding and we could also help the economy in the process. Guess what, because we owned a home in the past three years, we aren’t qualified for any kind of credit from Uncle Sam. Is this fair? We are responsible consumers, but yet this is how the government rewards the responsible consumers? I think they should give everyone who purchased a new home a credit if they are giving out any kind of credit because everyone who purchases a home is actually helping the economy. No? Not to mention, if you own a home for the past three years, but you rented it out during that time, you still qualify for this credit. *sigh*

  22. Stephanie says:

    Rick: See form 5405 on the IRS website. It details who can or cannot claim the credit. Since she is not a relative or ancestor, I don’t see why you couldn’t sell it to her and have her claim the credit. Now the co-signer part I don’t know about. Doubtful that you could be because you already “own” the home.

  23. My fiancee has never purchased a home before. Could I sell my current residence to her before we are married and she would qualify for the tax credit? Could I be a co-signer on her loan to purchase my house?

  24. Just find the appropriate office that the money goe sto and send them the money back. You can probably get that form your tax agent.

  25. Stephanie says:

    After finding an article listed on today, my husband and I now realize that if we move out of our home before the 1st time home buyer credit has been fully repaid, we immediately will have to pay the difference! (We got the $7500, our closing was Oct 2008) We tried to do as much research before accepting this credit but I guess we didn’t do enough :( We don’t plan on staying in our new home for 15 years. It was a starter home for us to get out of an apartment. Does anyone know if there’s a way to simply give it all back now and not wait the 15 years? We aren’t spending a dime of it. So much for stimulating the economy with all that money!

  26. If you got the $8000.00 credit but you did not bought a house what’s gonna happend next and how the money will be repaid back to the goverment.

  27. The line should be drawn when the word STIMULUS was mentioned. Draw the line there and give EVERY one who bought a home when that word was involved A BREAK.

    Give the laughing hyena a break??? Now THAT is funny.

    • Michael, I agree. If the man was elected in November, and decided to offer tax credits to “his” country’s citizens, then why start Jan 1, 2009? He wasn’t in office on that date any more than he was in November 08.

  28. Give me a break. I didn’t buy a house in 08 because I have plenty of gray matter between the ears unlike some of the complainers on here.

    If I did, I would except it and I wouldn’t complain about it.

    Michael… where do you draw the line?

    Funny thing is that you can’t change it, so vent away. I think it is funny.

  29. Tom, I feel you. I totally agree 100% with you. It was not presented as a loan. Chris, shut up. If you bought your home in 2008 you would be complaining too. Quit gloating over something that is so unfair! You should pay back the $8000 OR people who bought their home in 2008 should not have to. Simple as that. We all pay taxes. I can understand about interest rates changing as they do BUT THIS is totally different and outright unfair.

    • Amen Michael. Why should those who bought in 08 be treated any differently than those who bought 2 days later/2 weeks later/2 months later. We did the same thing. Hell, we took less money from Uncle Sam AND we have to pay it back.

  30. Man, there are a lot of complainers on here. If we should amend 2008 why not amend 2007. If we amend 2007, why not 2006. Give me a break. Now people are complaining about interest rates?

    I was going to buy at the end of 2008. I held off because the writing on the wall was there to see that interest rates where going to continue to drop. Now I will get the full 8k. Oh yeah!!!!

    • you’re forgetting why this whole program exists, smarty. STIMULUS. The $7500 stimulated me. But not as much as the FREE $8000 would have. I am not complaining about the tax credit. I am complaining because of the date it was retro-active until (1/01/09). That date serves no political significance, economic significance, or interest rate significance. It was just another date on a made-up calendar. I don’t need it to roll back to anything other than a significant date, not year. The day the man was elected, is a significant date for “his” stimulus packages to roll back to, wouldn’t you say?

  31. I’m 28 and just purchased my first home in November of 2008. I knew a little about the $7,500 tax credit when I bought my home, but I had heard that it needed to be repaid. It wasn’t the primary reason I went out and bought a house, but it was definitely one of the things that pushed me over the fence.

    It was a pretty good time to buy a house, and I finally found something I liked after nearly a year of searching, so I jumped.

    I wish I had just waited… Since buying the house, I’ve already refinanced because banks were gouging qualified buyers on rates at the time I closed, even though THEY were able to borrow money at historically low rates. So I’m out my original closing costs, in exchange for a 1% lower interest rate (which is still about 2% higher than what they are giving people who aren’t paying back their loans via mortgage adjustments). Now I find out that 6 weeks is all that separated me from having a $7,500 LOAN or $8,000 free money with no strings attached?

    I waited a long time to buy my first house, and I tried to do everything the right way. I saved my money, I put 20% down, I have great credit, I bought within my means, I’ve been responsible. I’ll make the most of the $7,500 loan, but I honestly think that if they’re just going to hand people the money with no strings attached in 2009, they should ammend the original 2008 tax credit so that it works the same way.

    I’m a little tired of being a responsible citizen and continually getting screwed over for it.

    • I’m the guy standing right behind you saying “yea, me too!”
      I closed 12/16/08. Obama was elected 11/11/08. He wasn’t in office until after 1/01/09, so if he was going to ‘roll back’ the qualified buyers date, why not make it 11/12/08?

  32. Something needs to be done here. Who do we need to write to or complain to? I purchased a home in 2008 and will have to pay back my credit as well. I understand that life isn’t fair, but this is ridiculous! The economy is no worse right now than it was a few months ago.

  33. Nakia L says:

    Awaiting response for question #67 by Yandy and question #68 by Kathy Bruss… Thanks

  34. Kathy Bruss says:

    If I just sold my mobile home in a trailer court and paid lot rent and I purchased a home 4/6/09 do I qualify for the $8000 first home buyer credit?

  35. So if for any circumstances your not able to buy a home but you got the $8000.00, What happens there? I know that it has to be paid back, but would it be in 2 years like everybody else?

  36. Same question as Emma asked on February 25th, 2009 at 10:40 pm. Our current house that I bought in Dec 2001 and mortgage are on my name. Can my wife buy a house on her name, using our household income to qualify for a loan, and then claim credit on our joint return? We were planning on getting a new home this year and if there is a way to get 8000 credit I will not complain… and if there isn’t a way – UNFAIR UNFAIR… how come its only valid for new home buyers!?

    Thank you!

  37. I bought my house in August 2008 and qualified for the $7500 interest-free-loan/credit. Is this unfair since those who bought a house in 2009 get $8000 and don’t have to pay it back? NO IT IS NOT UNFAIR. I got exactly what I paid for (a house) plus the bonus of a $7500 interest-free loan. Sure I think now, “Man, if I would have waited I could get the no-repayment credit. Shucks!” But to cry foul? Unfair? Seriously, people! You aren’t entitled to ANYTHING that you weren’t expecting when you bought your home. Let’s all take a deep breath and remember that we all got what we paid for (a house) and some of us got a bonus on top of that. No more complaining… please!

  38. Unfortunately, I have to sell my home that I just purchased 6 months ago. Since I will definitly be loosing money on the house, should I amend my taxes and apply for the $7500? And since I will be loosing money do I have to pay that back?

  39. Hi,

    My dad and I just purchased our first home in feb 2009 and my name is on the deed of trust only and not on the mortgage. My dad cannot claim the tax credit due to his salary being over the income limit. Would I still qualify to receive this credit since I work and my salary is below this amount?

  40. Turbo Tax will let you file on line March 31 with 8K tax credit. If you wish to file earlier you have to mail it.

  41. TIM - Realtor says:

    I’m a Realtor and have clients who purchased in late 08 rightfully upset over the 09 tax credit. My advise to them…Don’t take the $7500 if you don’t need it and if you do take it put it back into the property. Make smart improvements. You’ll have to pay it back so make sure it’s there to pay back. Many homeowners will find they won’t have to pay it back if they sell in the short term as it’s unlikely they will experience much appreciation. If you don’t make a profit when selling you don’t pay it back.

    • Not true. if you take the $7500 tax credit, you must pay it back if you sell your home within the next 36 months, regardless of P/L.

  42. I am curious about the “exceptions” in your statement “With some exceptions, this purchase must be the first piece of real estate you have ever purchased”. Is this simply referring to the fact that if you haven’t owned in the previous 3 years but did before you’d qualify?

  43. I bought (signed on) a house in November of 2008. I also filed for taxes w/o getting the 7500 tax credit. How can I get this interest free loan after filing for my 08 taxes? – the amendment page that was posted earlier? Man I wish I held off a couple weeks HAH! Oh well, tis 0% loan will be great to pay off debt I have and buy my fiancee a nice laptop for her prof. school.

    Thanks for the info :-)

  44. Ky even if it was dec 31st you CAN take the credit. The date available is Dec 31,08 to Dec 2009′,Dec 31st so that you are able to claim it on your 08 taxes. So your good.

    • Not me. I closed 12/16/08, totally unaware of the changes implemented by a man who was elected, but not in office yet. It should be retro-active to 11/12/08, a day after the election, not 1/01/09, which is a calendar day which serves no significance other than the start of a new tax year, not the beginning of any mortgage terms.

  45. I went to the closing on Dec. 31, 2008 and finally closed after business hours. When I contacted the bank regarding a 2008 1098 to file, I was told I would only get a 2009 1098 as my loan start was for Jan 2009 as the paperwork was not valid until the next business day which was January 2, 2009. I would love to claim the $8000 credit but is the correct. I only assume it is as I will not get a 1098 for the year 2008.

  46. Called IRS today for those buying in 2009 after April 15th….file an extension if you haven’t filed yet. If you have filed, then amend after you purchase. The purchase price includes down payment and closing costs.

  47. Will the tax credit of $8,000.00 be proactive for the people who purchased homes in 2008, during the midst of the Mortgage Crisis? I personally feel that the people who did their part as American citizens and continued investing in America while this crisis was unfolding, should enjoy the same benefits($500 more and no having to pay it back if you live in the house for three years) of the tax credit as those who purchased in 2009.

    • I agree totally, hence my post written below(above). I bought and closed escrow 14 days before Obama’s retro-active 1/01/09 cut off date. When I closed escrow I was not aware of any changes because Obama was not in office yet. Once he was in office, he rolled the credit back to 01/01/09, made it non-payable(pay back not required) and increased the credit by $500. So, I personally feel I got less, have to pay it back, and did just as much to help the economy as those who bought when prices sank even lower. Had I waited 5 months, I could have paid less for my home, and received MORE money, and wouldn’t have had to pay a dime of it back. I would settle for not having to pay it back, or pay less of it back. I am not being greedy…I am paying mine back. Those who closed escrow 14 days after I did are the lucky ones.

  48. Thank you all for your replies. I looked at form 5405 within TurboTax after I posted my question and realized it’d be difficult to take the credit this year. We’ll take it next year and not have to worry about an audit.

  49. I am confused about the 7500 tax credit and the 8000 tax credit. Are both still applicable or has the 8000 one replaced the 7500 thereby making all home buyers from last year disqualified from this 7500 tax credit.

  50. Mike Says:

    February 22nd, 2009 at 5:45 pm
    The only problem I have with this whole thing is simple. I will take my 7500 dollars I received for buying a new home. Thank you President Bush. President Obama claimed all of Bush programs sucked and did not help anything. So he changed it for his reign. He could of changed the old policy, most of them can be changed up to a year they were put in place, but chooses not too. For that reason, I am glad I did not vote for him and will actively vote against him next time. I do not care who he is running against. So thanks for nothing Obama. It is that simple

    Right on Mike!

    I completely agree with you.

  51. Josh Says:

    February 20th, 2009 at 3:54 pm
    I really wish people would quit calling these types of handouts “UNFAIR”. If there was no $8000 tax credit at all, nobody would be complaining to the government that they are being treated unfairly because they aren’t getting handed free money. Someone else is getting a gift and you are not. It’s a pretty childish/selfish response to the situation to only see the negative in that and complain.

    Josh! You ought to catch an @ss whoppin for this post.

  52. Mike you can NOT take the credit with out purchasing a house. period. I intend do to alot of things in life too,but until it actually happens with proof it doesn’t mean anything. Buying a house is extensive informatin/paperwork and anything can go wrong even at the time of closing. The house isn’t yours until your loan is funded and recorded (a day after you sign). On the form 5405 you have to have the address for which you bought and also the price you bought it for. You have neither. You can’t take the credit. Also because you will ‘with good intentions’ be purchasing a house (and I truely hope you are able :) ) and it will be AFTER april 15-the deadline for 2008 tax season, you would then have to take the $8000 credit on your 09 taxes instead. I guess you could try and file for a tax extention but I don’t think it will let you draw it out until sept/oct.

    people please don’t try and sqeeze through the cracks of the system. Own up,stay legit and be patient.

  53. Mike – You will need to file the IRS 5405 form in addition to the 1040 form which requires the new home address so it might not be as easy to claim the credit without purchasing the house. Another option if you are looking at using the money as a down payment later this year would be to change your withholdings so that you have very little federal taxes taken out of the the check. The tax credit can then offset the lack of taxes you paid through out the year on the 2009 tax return. Just remember it is imperative that you save the additional money that you get every payday since you will have to pay it back if you don’t buy a house.

  54. Mike- I dont think you can claim the money before you buy a house with the “intention” of buying. The tax credit is intended for home improvement, not to help with a downpayment. There are other programs that can help with a first time home buyers down payment.The tax consultants need the closing agreement to even apply the credit to your return.

  55. I have a question about this that I cannot find the answer to anywhere. My wife and I fully intend to buy a house this year, probably around September/October. I can claim this $8K credit on my 2008 taxes, as i “will have bought” the house before November 30th. However, what happens if, for some reason, we DON’T buy the house, or close in December? Obviously, I’d have to pay the money back, but will there be interest and/or penalties?

  56. I am in the military (Air Force). I sold a house on 1 Dec 2006 and am now getting a home built that will close around June/July 2009. From what I understand, I’m not eligible for a credit as we were without a home for about 30 months, not the required 36 months to be considered “First-time homebuyers”. Anyone know of a loop-hole to be eligible or the credit if <3 years existed between owning homes? Perhaps they’ll amend the credit requirements, but I doubt it at this point.

  57. Kathy Klemm says:

    Do I have to purchase a home for the first time, or can it be the first one in 10 years, in order to qualify?

  58. Ok I filed my taxes late January, to help pay for my new home. I closed on my home Feb 13th, 2009. Later on I found out about the 7500 tax credit.. so i done a ammendment on my 2008 taxes to take advantage of the tax credit. Now I just noticed it was revised. How does this affect me? Can i ammend my taxes once again?

  59. So what happens if you take the $8000 credit, and due to circumstances, are unable to purchase a home in 2009?

  60. I bought my house in May 08. I am grateful for a 7500 tax credit. I can pay off my car and my expensive furniture loan and the money I’ve been paying in interest on those loans, I can now save and have for myself. It’s not a waste of money and if you even just take the 7500 and invest it in a savings or with that amount, a higher-interest CD then guess what, essentally the goverment is giving you free money. But I also think that if it goes retro at all (like it did) then it should go all the way back. Honestly when I purchased I didn’t know about a credit and when I heard it on the radio it was not presented in a “the government giving you a loan” way it was “it’s like uncle sam moving you in”. I did a lot of research and ended up knowing more than my realtor and mortage broker and still knew very little. There are a lot of people who still do not understand that the 7500 is a loan. When I did my taxes the prepapers didn’t even know it was a loan (which is kind of scary). So I think that that is going to present an issue itself. A lot of people took this credit as I did, just as it was presented, as free money. There is going to be a lot of problems come 2 years when the people who got 7500 are suddenly required to start paying money back they thought was free but their neighbor down the road just made not only $500 more but has no requirements to repay. That’s the only reason really why I believe they need to go all the way back with being retro-active. Bad advertisement! Maybe it was just in Utah but every TV, Radio, and other ad I saw for the tax credit never once mentioned repayment.

  61. The 7500 is a sweet deal, the people who bought before the April deadline of 2008 didn’t even know the credit was coming, if they did they would’ve waited of course. They bought because the prices dropped dramatically and, at the time in their minds, got a sweet deal on a house. It does suck for those people but basically I don’t have any sympathy for them. I just feel that it singles out a small portion of homebuyers who bought because of the credit. And now my “loan” dollars are being used to “give” people money to buy for a longer period of time than the ones singled out had with much lower home prices. And you still have to be a first-time buyer which now I’m not. Maybe I’m in the minority but the details are just unfair. I’m happy to have a job and I’m happy to pay taxes. Nobody always agrees with how their tax dollars are used but when it’s just given away like that I think the details deserve a little more attention.

  62. It’s kinda funny did any of you that recieved the money care that the homebuyers of 2007-B.C. didn’t get a chance for $7500.00 interest free loan????? Ummmm…..I didn’t think so would Any of you stop to think oh well….I don’t think I’m going to take the money BECAUSE they didn’t get it last year. YES!!!! I understand that it sucks, while the $8000.00 grant that I get was once a $7500.00 loan that you- because you bought your house a month to early- have to pay back turns out to be free to you anyways because as I do I’m sure that most of you receive extra money back on your taxes do to EIC, and things of that nature and the government just takes some of that money back. And its not really coming out of your pocket its coming out of all of ours!!! Begger’s in this day and age can’t be choosers be gratefull for the opportunities given to you….not jealous of which ones are presented to others….. LIFE is way to short to be so mad all the time.

  63. If my husband owns our current house and we purchase a new home soley in my name, can we still claim the credit on our joint return?

  64. Chris the amount you will get back in your taxes (of which you put in) is completely different than this $8000 first time homebuyers credit. You do not need to change your exemptions. Next years taxes-you will get your ‘roughly’ $6000 like you said you normally get,and ON TOP of that you will get $8000= $14,000 (again going off of $6,000 you get back).

  65. I have a question. I don’t completly understand how this works. I am buying a house this year in the Atlanta area.

    If I usually get a $6,000 every year then next year I will max out at $8,000? In other words, the most return I could get is $8,000?

    If this is the case I should up my exemptions, correct? I presently claim 3 and there are 6 in my household and I usually get about a $6,000 return ($6,600 for ’08 taxes).

    Am I thinking about this right? I should up my exemptions so I get more back now because the most I am going to be able to get back on my return for 2009 is $8,000 anyway?

    Thanks for any advice or clarification.

  66. Nate I’m not sure how you filed for the $7500 when you haven’t closed yet. But yes you would just file and ammended form. From my understanding 1) those of you who already filed your taxes this year (as in-in jan or feb) and bought a house in 09′ and took the $7500, the ammended form would allow you to get the $8000 instead and basically IRS would wash the $7500 and send you the extra $500.

    As of today,Feb 23,I’ve also looked everywhere online such as turbo tax,tax cut,hrblock ..and no one has the updated info about taking the $8000 yet. Turbo tax does have a thumbtack note saying they will have their website updated mid march which will include the $8000. I’ve even called,and gone in to, atleast 6 local places such as HRblock,Liberty,a few little tax offices and none have updated versions either.

    BEWARE if tax idiots!! Most do not have a clue about tax preperations or current information!

    A few called me a liar saying the info didn’t exist(apparently they don’t read the newspaper/listen to the news/keep up with current times) Some even said I couldn’t use the $8000 for my 08′ taxes. YES you can!!

    See,in search box type in 5405,page 2 under Specific Instructions

    LINE B says- enter the date you acquire the home. This is the date you purchased it (or the date you first occupied it if you constructed your main home).

    LINE C says- you can choose to claim the credit on your 2008 form 1040 for a main home purchased after December 31,08 and before December 1,2009)

    It sucks not to be able to file taxes yet, without having to do a bunch of extra paperwork later(ammended forms). Of course I can download all paperwork from the IRS website-they’re udpated,but then I would have to paper file,which can take 4-8 weeks. So if anyone knows of an available e- file websites with the updated homebuyer credit would you post here please?

    As for some who question to even purchase a home during the recession I say absolutely yes. My choice to purchase a home has nothing to do with the money I’ll get back it has to do with having a perminent roof over my family’s head. A place for us to live and our toddler children to grow up. The extra money we get back? well..that just happens to be a bonus and I got the pick of the straw that we bought our house this year instead of last year. HOWEVER if it would have been last year (which we were trying to do) we were still going to take the $7500 INTEREST free loan because it’s still a sweet deal. Only paying $500 a year?? are you kidding me? You’d be paying WAY more than that per year if you got it as a personal loan instead,that’s if you even qualified for it!! We don’t even qualify for an interest free loan on anything,not many people do! Be thankful that you are blessed to be given the opportunity to get the $7500 when people who have owned their homes for years,or people who are renting are getting no perks to one of these two fantastic benefits!

    now go pay off some bills and buy something nice for your house :)

  67. I have received the $7500 credit and am closing on a home next week. Do I have to amend my taxes with the 5405 form to get the $8000 ‘grant’? How does this work?

  68. The only problem I have with this whole thing is simple. I will take my 7500 dollars I received for buying a new home. Thank you President Bush. President Obama claimed all of Bush programs sucked and did not help anything. So he changed it for his reign. He could of changed the old policy, most of them can be changed up to a year they were put in place, but chooses not too. For that reason, I am glad I did not vote for him and will actively vote against him next time. I do not care who he is running against. So thanks for nothing Obama. It is that simple

  69. The IRS has updated the form. Its the same 5405 form. There is language about 8000 right on the form. It also still states on the form that you can claim the credit on your 2008 taxes.

  70. Hopefully people realized the $7500 was a loan and didnt buy a house just to be an additional $7500 in debt. I know I didnt. And we arent getting the $7500 just to owe more money to the government. Obviously anyone in their right mind would take free money from the government who they consistently pay exuberant taxes to. I dont care who you are, free money is free money and everyone standing against us complainers would take the money too.

  71. Sean you are absolutely right this should be retroactive until April 8th 2008

  72. And who says we’re not moving toward being a socialist country? Reading all the comments here would lead you to believe we’re already there. This is a battle of who can stick their hand out the furthest. There is a very simple point I want to make which could save many of you ulcers down the road. If you bought a house and thought you got a great deal at the time, you got a great deal so be happy. I hope you bought a house because you liked it, not because you we’re getting $7,500 at the time which it sounds like many of you did.

    What’s next, are we going to be arguing that our neighbor got better government cheese than me next year? I hope not!

  73. As long as you buy a house in 09 but before July you can get the credit on your 08 taxes. I would like to know when the IRS is going to update their tax forms on their site to the new credit. As of Feb. 20th it is still the old one of $7,500 that you still have to pay back.

  74. It is not a simple matter of oh well I bought on April 7th and now I can’t take ANY credit at all…boo hoo. The Bush bill homebuyers were given basically the same thing but still have to pay it back while the Obama bill homebuyers get it free. It’s only a difference of 8 months. If there was no 7500 credit I would not have bought at all. The whole point is to stimulate homebuying which the govt (Bush or Obama) initiated April 8th 2008. The original bill was supposed to last until July and the new stimulus overrides this exact language. It’s the exact same thing and you even use the same tax form if filing in 2009. Some tax software and tax preparation websites don’t include the new credit, so what happens when someone claims the 7500 but was supposed to get 8000? How do they reclaim the 500 bucks? It should be plain and simple cut and dry completely RETROACTIVE until April 8th 2008 to avoid any confusion, outrage, paperwork, political consequences. I was a first time voter last election and I voted for Obama, but this leaves a bad taste in my mouth. How much money does the govt really stand to make back from the unlucky Bush bill homebuyers that tried to stimulate the housing market back when the plan was first introduced?, In 8 months of a stagnate housing market with nobody being able to get credit, I’d say very little. One other little tidbit, I’m sure EVERY SINGLE house bought in say April, May, June of 2008 has lost at least $7500 in market value, (not including any improvements).

  75. Josh, true we would not be complaining but I am definitly not taking a loan from the government while the exact type of money is being “handed-out” with no expectations of paying it back. I think the point is that it should be all or nothing not pick and choose when, how much, and whether or not to pay it back depending on what time frame of this economy we decided to purchase a home. If they want to reward people then reward them but dont say that some of the rewards have to paid back and some do not.

  76. I really wish people would quit calling these types of handouts “UNFAIR”. If there was no $8000 tax credit at all, nobody would be complaining to the government that they are being treated unfairly because they aren’t getting handed free money. Someone else is getting a gift and you are not. It’s a pretty childish/selfish response to the situation to only see the negative in that and complain.

  77. I just spoke with my Home Mortgage company and my rep thinks that this recent plan will be amended. No guarantees but he expects it will happen.

  78. I also purchased my first home and closed on Dec. 15th 2008. I don’t think it is fair that all of us who took the tax credit in 08 should have to pay the credit back since the people purchasing in 09 are getting more money than us and don’t have to pay the credit back!! How can the government give something to one for free after they are making the rest of us pay back for the same thing!!

  79. I feel your pain Frank, It always seems like I made just a little too much money to qualify for all this FREE money from the G’ment. I find myself growing ever more impatient with the current handout system and thanks to this new bill, it seems the handouts are going to get bigger at our expense. I have read alot of the “Stimuless Package” and it seems that alot of entitlement programs are being funded thru the tax code instead of our government coming right out and saying “hey, we are going to give people more money and it is going to cost all you tax payers more money.” They are slipping it into the tax code so it does not have to be brought in front of Congress as a “Spending Program”. I guess we should just be thankful we get to keep what we get now. Stay strong Frank, Those who allow the government to take care of them are going to be hurting pretty bad when the government runs out of the means to do so.

  80. Eddie, I guess I agree with you. Its just that what is the point in the first tax credit if it has to be paid back out of our tax refunds. It just seems like we are all in this hell together, why not help everyone who could use it. Its like looking at schooling and who gets free money for school and who doesnt. I work two jobs and go to school yet my efforts are only acknowledged by being eligible for loans, not free money for school as with a minority, or someone on welfare or with children. I have been working as hard a sI possibly can with no assistance from the government and yet I just cant seem to catch a break. Owing more money is not a break to me.

  81. Jim, I understand how the bonus works, i was just making a point that the government has its little quirks like giving someone who has not done anything yet 20k for joining when you have trained and experienced soldiers that you give 15k. You would think you would want to keep your proven talent with the 20k and give the 15k to your new guys but that would make too much since for the government. That is all I was saying about that. It was all about timing, just like this home tax credit. When you sign on the dotted line, you get what is offered at that time. If something better comes along, you can not expect to be offered that too. If I got my house at 5.5% and 2 weeks later the interest rate drops to 4.75% the bank is not going to just let me stroll in everytime the rate drops a little and refinance are they? Its all about timing and luck.

  82. Oh yeah, who know who to write in order to contact President Obama?

  83. So here we are spending our hard earned paychecks on trying to not only enjoy our home but to hopefully some day have some sort of down payment on our next home……Now if we opt for the $7500 our tax returns will just be shrunk from now on. Doesn’t seem worth it. Why not just get our tax returns and use that for our home improvements?

  84. So $8,000 huh? So those of us who were ready to take the risk and stay current on our payments and didn’t even know about the $7500 get punished now if they could use the money but cannot afford to pay that sum of money back. Isn’t the $7500 credit due back at $500 per year and then if you sell, owe the government the rest in the form of your own home profits? I just think that those of us in the after April 1st bracket should only be qualified for the $7500 but they should most definitely amend this plan to include the people who still contributed to the ’08 home purchases to not have to pay it back.

  85. Eddie, I just want to point out that the $20k bonuses offered by the US Army & Guard strictly require completion of Basic Training and AIT, upon which the first half is paid (after taxes) and the next half is paid through the next few years of the enlistment.

  86. Those of you who purchased a home in 08 and the dates fell in place for the first tax credit need to contact your Senators, Congressman and even Mr. Obama. If the new bill went into effect the day the President signed it then I think it is legal but by taking the bill back retro (even only a couple of weeks to Jan 1 09) I believe may be a violation of a tax law of some sort. We need to make as much noise as we can on this and have it looked at. By doing a partial retro thing with this bill our Govt may just have made a boo-boo and we need to call them on it.

  87. does anyone have an idea when websites like Turbotax will recognize the $8000 and not the 7500??? we closed on Feb. 6d, and when i fill out my turbotax it’s still just saying the $7500. Everything I’ve read does say that it began as of Jan. 1, so i should receive the $8000.I’d like to file pretty soon so that we can buy some things for the new house. Thanks if anyone has an answer for me:)

  88. I finally found a house I liked in January and I close next week. I couldn’t believe my luck to see that pushing my buying decision 6 months would be an $8,000 swing. I truly feel bad for those closing on a house last year with the new tax credit changes coming around now. Hopefully I can help answer some of the questions here since I have been researching the heck out of this.

    Allen – You can still claim a home purchase in 2009 on the 2008 taxes just like the previous first time home buyer tax credit allowed you to do.

    Jeremy – You can amend your tax return once you close on the house. I haven’t seen the updated IRS form for the new tax credit as of yet.

    Jill – It’s when you close on the house so you are fine.

    I would recommend anyone wanting to learn more about the tax credit to go to the IRS website. From their homepage, click on the “Update on New Stimulus Legislation” and you can link over to a summary of all the items in the economic recovery package. One item that appears to be incorrect in the article is that the tax credit applies to homes purchased until Dec. 1 not Aug. 1.

  89. i too bought a home in late 2008. i am entitled to the first time home buyer credit, but i am one of the unlucky people who must REPAY the money.
    had i waited just a few more weeks i would not have to pay it back. IT IS COMPLETELY UNFAIR. those who purchased a home after april 1st 2008 should be included in the presidents new stimulus package deal.

  90. Gee, Like I said before, life and the government are not fair, but even you can see that stop points have to be made in the legislation in order to even get it passed. The old saying of give an inch and they will take a mile is really true. An example, say the government said, ok we will grandfather this bill and allow everyone who bought a house back in April of 2008 to fall under this new bill. All of the sudden, you are going to have the home buyers that bought houses BEFORE the original $7500 Tax Credit time frame screaming that THEY should get the $7500 Tax Credit. Do you see where this could go. Like it or not, there will always be missed opportunities out there, but you can’t just retro everything to make everyone feel good. Trust me, the way the economy is going now, this will not be the first “bone” the government tries to through at us and it won’t be the last. Beside, you can never lose sight that these “Tax Credits” and “Stimulis Checks” were your hard earned tax money in the first place. The best thing we can all do is start planning our own futures and do crazy things like our parents and grandparents did like not buying something unless we have the money or maybe even putting a little something away for a rainy day because I can tell you now that there are a few Hurricanes on the horizon before we start coming out of this. My advice, pay yourself first and always because a credit card company is not going to be your friend for long. Just my two cents again.

  91. Hey Money Under 30, still waiting on my reply to my question above…

  92. Eddie i know the bank are not ready to loan but it isn’t fair we are all living in this country are all pay taxes how on earth will some get $7500 and have to pay back while others get $8000 yet will not have to repay

  93. Allen, I don’t believe so…a home bought in 2009 would mean a credit for 2009 taxes.

    Jill, I think you’ll use your closing date. The language of the first (now outdated) $7,500 credit states: “To qualify for the tax credit, a home purchase must occur on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009. For the purpose of the tax credit, the purchase date is the date when the closing (settlement) occurs.” I don’t imagine this will change.

  94. Does “purchase” mean when you close and take possession? I did my purchase agreement on Dec 22, 2008, but close on Feb 25, 2009. Will that qualify me for the $8K that does not need to be repaid?

  95. Although I understand the frustration everyone feels about this tax credit not being retroactive we do need to come back to reality. There are not too many banks out there that will give out a $7500 interest free loan with a 15 year payback (with no credit check) right? I am in the military and have missed out on reenlistment bonuses by just days. Also, if i reenlist I only get $15K and have to serve in a war zone for awhile to get that. New recruits coming into the military get a $20K bonus just for passing a physical. Point being, life is not fair and like it or not our government is not either. Take the $7500, make improvements to your home and when the market swings back you will double your money with equity. Lemons to lemonade right?

  96. My husband and I bought a house in ’08 well after the recession was underway. Why do people who waited for the market to get worse (and consequently have already gotten better interest rates and better prices) get MORE money that they don’t even have to pay back?!?! There is something wrong with this plan.

  97. I also bought my home in the last quarter of 08, after not being able to actually afford a house for years, when we finally could, we jumped at the chance, and now are being made to pay an unfair price. this is not fair!

  98. I recently bought a house that closed on December 22, 2008. I have filed my taxes and took advantage of the $7500.00. Now they say if you buy a house as of Jan 1, 2009 you get $8000.00 with no pay back required? Why should I have to pay back and they dont? I missed it by 9 days. I think its unfair!

  99. Thank you for your information, but one quick question. My fiancee will be closing on our first home end of March, it is strictly in her name due to being self employed. The question I have is she has already filed her 08′ taxes and received her return. Once we get into the home we would like to receive this $8000 tax credit! How do we do so since she has already file and received?

  100. I was one of the people who spurred you to write about it being a good time to buy a home, and for some people (people who plan to stay put awhile, or who live in certain markets where values declined earlier, like in some sun belt suburbs) this may still be true.

    But, whoa are things really getting bad out there.

    It seems more and more like the current economic downturn is going to be really, really big, and it’s going to hit housing the worst. All real estate is local, so your local market conditions may dictate your own decision. And again, a home is not just an investment, it’s a home.

    But I had sold my old condo and was planning to buy a new one… but now I’m not so sure. I may just breathe a sigh of relief that I got out when I did and hang on to my cash for awhile. It’s entirely likely values are still going to drop more, and may drop very very steeply in some markets. This downturn is not going to behave like ones we’ve seen before, and won’t be for the faint of heart.

  101. allen roth says:

    If you buy a home in 2009 can you take tax credit for 2008. Thanks

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