First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit Provides up to $7,500

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.

Did you know that if you are an American buying your first home between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009, the U.S. government will give you up to $7,500 in the form of a federal tax credit?

Update: New legislation in 2009 has expanded upon the initial $7,500 tax credit. Although there is valuable information here for people who purchased homes in 2008; anybody buying in 2009 may also want to read about the $8,000 tax credit and how to claim this credit.

The tax credit is part of recently-enacted legislation to help the nation recover from the recent mortgage crisis. Basically, the first-time home buyer tax credit is designed to keep Americans buying homes. Not so much for our sake, but for the sakes of builders, real estate agents, and mortgage lenders who earn their livelihood from home sales.

Still, this tax credit, along with soft real estate prices, make it an excellent time to buy a first home.

How does the tax credit work?

The tax credit is basically an interest-free government loan of 10% of your home purchase price, to a maximum of $7,500, to help defer the initial costs of buying your first home.

Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 can get the full tax credit, and taxpayers with higher incomes may be eligible for a partial credit.

Taxpayers can claim the credit on their federal tax returns for the year in which the home was purchased. The taxpayers will then repay the credit over the subsequent 15 years of tax returns, interest free.

For more information, the National Association of Home Builders provides some consumer information about the tax credit.

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. We bought a house in Feb 2010 so we qualify for the credit. You have to live in the house for three years and then it is forgiven. My question is, “can I wait until 2012 and then do an ammended return with the credt?” Reason is, my husband might get transferred and we would then have to move and then have to pay back the credit – I would rather not take it and then just ammend it if we don’t have to move…any suggestions?

  2. Randi Bender says:

    I purchased my home in june 2010 and closed in aug 2010, would i quailify?

  3. I purchased my 1st time buyer home for a premium from my parents in April 2008, I thought I would qualify for the 1st time home buyers plan, After much research and talking to the IRS ( who told me to take it up with congress) I have given up and am very much used to this kind of alienation from our government. If I would have bought the house next door…$8000 for me

  4. I purchased my home (which is still my primary residence) in April of 2006 closed June 30th of 2006. It is still my main residence. Do I qualify for this tax credit? I am a long term homeowner by definition or is this for when I buy ANOTHER home. I am confused.

    • May 22, 2011: To Darlando, I am in the same exact scenario as you in closing on June 30, 2006. Has there been any reply on this?? Is there any level of eligibility??

      For those posting it would be useful to list the date of your comments as there is no tracking here.

  5. any more info about the stupid relative clause????

  6. Has anyone found out any information from buying from a relative. We are in the same boat and was told by everyone that we would get the 8000 and now all of a sudden there is this relative clause. Please help!

  7. Ok I am buying a home from my girlfriends parents. We have lived together for 5 years and therefore common law. Is there anything to be done about the first time home buyers clause?

  8. Christine Gamble says:

    Can a son buying a home from a father take advantage of this years tax credit?

  9. I purchased my home as a single person in Sept. 08. I didn’t know anything about this credit until this year (I don’t know where I’ve been!) But I am having my tax guy amend my 2008 taxes now to take advantage of it. My question is, 1-I am married now, are they going to look at the fact that this year I filed married, filing jointly this year to figure how much $ I will get back? OR will they only look at my 2008 info, where I was single & purchased the house as a single person (with no cosigner)? ALSO, Since I have already finished my 2009 taxes (and received a small refund) should I expect a $7500 check from the IRS soon, or are they going to add the credit to next years return? Thanks ahead of time for your info!

  10. We bought a house from my parents in October 2009.

    Since my wife is not directly related to my parents, can she claim the $8,000 tax credit if we file seperately?

    • Mateo

      Did you ever get a reply from your post. I am in the same boat as a first time buyer. I purchased from my parents.

  11. I purchased a home at the end of March 2008, less than two weeks before the April 9th official start of the tax-credit program. Have any of the changes extended to include that time frame?

    • I’m in the same boat, purchased my first home in March 2008. I must have just been clueless or nieve.

      Regardless of having to pay back the $7500 or not, the money in hand would be nice, so I could refi, get a lower rate and a lower monthly payment, and save big money over the life of the loan. I can’t fathom anyone would be complaining about an interest free loan like this. At the very least, get the $7500, put it in a CD acrue interest, and pay it back slowly… Free money… just be smart with it.

    • Catherine says:

      My husband and I also purchased our first home March 30th, 2008. We filed our 2008 taxes and received the first time homeowner tax credit. Now three years later, the IRS says that this was a mistake and they want us to pay it back ASAP. Are there any stipulations, anything we can do?

      • Cynthia C says:

        my daughter is in the same boat…kind of remembered that we HAD to close by April 8th! And now we got a letter too!

  12. My husband and I purchased a home from my parents in November. It was a legitimate purchase for fair market value.
    We went through an attorney, commercial lender, Realtor (for parent’s new home), and none of those parties had any knowledge of the “relative clause”. The home sale was $230,000, and we now have a first mortgage through our credit union for $155,000. There is no hanky-panky here. We had a truly legitimate sale, and we want to be treated as legitimate buyers. I am feeling completely discriminated against by the IRS for my relation to the seller, under their assumption that family sales are simply abuse. Which agency or individual can I contact to petition this?

    • Kristina, did you ever get anywhere with this? My husband and I were thinking about doing the same thing.


      • Michelle says:

        Did you get any reply on this issue? We did the same thing, noone told us that we couldn’t buy from your parents?

    • I agree, I have same issue I bought home from relative who needed to sell I paid fair market value. It is unfair that my neighbor who paid less for their home gets the credit. If I had know about this I wouldnt have rushed to buy the home. Also they need to change the 1st time homebuyer in past three year nonsence, 1st time means 1st time. And include relatives with purchases at fair market value, and mortages who are trying to own a home and stimulate the economy dont penzalize us.

    • Did you ever get a resolution to this? I am in the exact same situation and just want to know whether this is worth puruing or whether i should just kiss the $8k goodbye. Thanks, robbie

  13. I purchased a home in July of 2008, but did not have to file a tax return for that year. Since I will be filing this year for 2009 is there a way to claim the 7500 1st time home buyer this tax year?

    • I have the same question Julia. We bought in Oct. 2008 and the lady we used to do our taxes did not even tell us about the first time home buyer credit. I just found out about it and I need to know how to get it on this year’s return?? Everything I am finding is stating that to get a credit on this year’s return your house has to be purchased in January 2009- 2010.

  14. I bought my first home in Aug.2006 On contract from a friend, but then i got the money though a Bank, home loan in July 2009, and payed off the contract. Is it possible that i would qualify for and tax intensives?

  15. To Jamie and Brandy, June 10 comments: I too purchased a house and closed in aug 2007 and was told by my mortgage co that I qualified for first time home buyer. It wasn’t the same as the Obama first time home buyer credit BUT a first time buyer credit did exist at that time. I am trying to find more info on it.

    • Erica McGill says:

      Please let me know if you hear anything back on your question. We bought our home in May 2007 and were told the same thing about the 7500 interest free loan that had to be payed back over 15yrs. We did not opt in for then but this year we tried to ammend our taxes and they said there was no such thing.

    • I too was told about a tax credit in 2007. I actually remember being told this by an H&R representative. I closed in November 2007 and I do remember there was a tax credit at that time. Now the IRS sends me a letter saying I claimed the credit before congress passed it.

      • Did your ever hear anything on this? My friend has the same problem and doesn’t know what to do. Any help would be appreciated!! Thank you

      • THE IRS IS COMING AFTER YOU ON THE $7500.00 LOAN THEY SAID I WAS NOT ELGIBLE for the loan because my ex wife owned the prior home I lived in with her and that is deemed home ownership by the IRS there they are giving me a 20$ penalty +++ interset for 2800.00 fun huh

  16. Patrick,

    No you can’t claim both because how much you get is dependent on when you bought the house and the dates don’t overlap. Since you bought your house this year you get the $8,000. Don’t be greedy.

  17. Can you claim the $7500 and the $8000 together? I purchased my house in april 2009.

  18. Brandon says:

    Brooke, the updated version of the First Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit law may include something that removes the relatives restriction. I can’t recall. Find the text online for the bill (signed into law on February 17th I believe) to see if there is mention of the relatives-related text. If there is no mention of it then you can’t get the $8000 or the $7500 because if it wasn’t changed then the original rule still applies which disqualifies you from both. If the relatives restriction was removed then you get $8000 because you bought within the time frame specified to receive the $8000.

  19. We are closing on our home June 20, 2009, with or without the credit.
    We are purchasing the home from our father in law with a lawyer drawn purchase agreement, the standard one that is used in Texas.
    There is just no way around the relative issue? I’d even utilize the $7500 one if we could.

  20. We are closing on our home June 20, 2009, with or without the credit.
    We are purchasing the home from our FIL with a lawyer drawn purchase agreement, the standard one that is used in Texas.
    There is just no way around the relative issue? I’d even utilize the $7500 one if we could.

  21. Brandon says:

    Jamie, the first time home buyer’s credit wasn’t even created until April of 2008. Although they amended portions of it in the details of Obama’s wishlist that was approved in Feburary, they did not make it retroactive to 2007. People who qualify and bought a house in 2008 get $7500 and people who qualify and bought a house in 2009 get $8000. People who bought/buy in 2007, 2010 or any other year do not qualify. There may be other tax credits you qualify for though.

  22. We closed on a house in Aug. 2007. Does anyone know about any tax credit for 1st time home owners who closed in 2007?

  23. irmgard grace says:

    if i buy a home under a land contract ,do i still qualify for the 8000 tax credit

  24. Brandon,
    It’s a metaphor, meaning we will all pay for it some how. Including the 8000. That free loan help me out a lot. I’m just glad that I did not buy earley. I’m also glad that I did not buy Later, because of the mulitiple offer wars going on in my area that I live in. Plus the programs that they offered when we bought, they dont have anymore.

  25. Brandon says:

    Will, What do you mean you know that you will be paying back the $7500 plus more? The $7500 is basically an interest free loan and you don’t have to start paying it back for 2 years after you claim it on your taxes.

  26. I must agree with you Brandon. I purchase in Aug 08, and I did take advantage of the 7500. I’m not complaining, I’m happy that I got what I got. I know though that money does not grow on trees and that Ill be paying that back plus more. You should all be lucking that your living the American dream. Owning a little or a big piece of America. Just think, If you were the one that bought 2 years ago and making a payment on a house that is worth half of what you paid for it. Or renting because you could not make your payment, or said screw it im just going to let my house go becuase it’s not worth crap!

  27. You folks blaming Bush – it was the Democrat Congress that wrote and passed this law.


  28. Brandon says:


    Many people post messages like yours on this website so the response I gave is the “quick” response to something like “it’s not fair”. Take a look at the stimulus plan wording if you want to see the modifications that Congress made to the first time home buyer’s act last year. Other stipulations were removed so it is actually less restrictive than it used to be. For example, previously if you bought your first house off your relatives you didn’t qualify. You can ask questions but your post was asking the same question that has been answered countless times on this website. Given that and your seemingly naive complaint of “it’s not fair”, I thought it warranted the response I provided. Feel free to ask additional questions though, seriously. But you may want to skim the website (use your browser Find function to help you) prior to posting in case your question(s) has already been covered.

  29. Thanks Brandon, I guess everyone is a cynic. I couldn’t find this information on the internet. Guess people can’t ask questions these days. Good day.

  30. Brandon says:


    Yes you still have to pay back the $7,500. The stipulations on the $8,000 includes requiring you to have closed on the house between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009 (approximately, I forget the exact end date). Maybe they should consider modifying it, yet again. Why not throw more money at the problem right? Money just grows on trees. It isn’t like the money came from the taxpayers and that there is only so much to go around, especially with all the other spending that Obama thinks will solve our problems.

    By the way, do you have kids? Are you self-employed? Do you own a farm? I’m just wondering because if you answered “no” to those questions (and hundreds of others I can’t think of or am unaware of) then you don’t qualify for hundreds of other tax credits. Are you going to complain that those aren’t fair either?

    I can’t answer “yes” to any of those questions but I’m not complaining that the tax credits associated with those are unfair. It is my choice. I even know they exist so I could start a farm right now and buy equipment to right off. And yes, you didn’t know ahead of time that they would change the law to not have to pay back the $7,500 if you bought a house this year but that’s life. Congress changes tax laws every year and people fall in and out of qualifying because of it. Deal with it.

  31. the $7,500 tax credit is a joke compared to the $8,000 tax credit. I purchased my home in 2008, do I still have to pay back $500 every year? They should seriously consider modifying the 2008 faux tax credit that you have to pay back. Its not fair

  32. Silva,

    You can use the money for whatever you want. It is your money just like any other tax credit you get is your money. But you won’t get this money until the house is yours and they define you owning the house as the date you close on the house. Therefore you won’t have the money prior to purchasing the house so you couldn’t use it for buying the house even if you wanted to.

  33. Can I use the Money to pay my bills instead to buy a house?

  34. Sue,
    The first time home buyer credit is just like any other credit in that it is applied to your overall refund amount. Therefore it is included in your check or direct deposit transaction. Why would this credit be treated any differently than the existing credits (like the earned income credit or the child tax credit)?

  35. sue walton says:

    is thid first time home buyer credit separate from your tax refund or is it included? i was thingking i was going to get a separate check for $7500. was if wrong?

  36. My husband and I purchased a house in Sept 2008 and we could not believe when the first time homebuyer’s tax credit was changed from a loan that needs to be repaid to one that does not.
    Please make your voice heard on the following petition site:

    Hopefully it will be amended and we can keep our money, too.

  37. I am selling my house to someone who qualifies for the first times home credit. Can I finance the purchase? Also can I give the buyer a contract for deed instead of a mortgage and still qualify for the tax credit?

  38. Brandon says:


    Hard to say what the problem is but there is definitely a problem. My uncle did my taxes and submitted them near the end of February and my $8500 was in my account by March 6. My uncle filed an amendment to get me the additional $500 ($7500+500=$8000 for home buyers this year; I closed Feb 13th) which was the only way he understood for it to be done (I disagreed). The amendment paperwork has been turned in but I haven’t got the additional $500 yet but the original filing took only about a week for me. Keep trying because something is definitely up with yours.

  39. I have been hearing a lot of things regarding the $7500 first-time homebuyer credit. I filed in Febuary 2009 it has now been 7 weeks and have not recived my refund. When I look on the web site for wheres my refund. It tells me to call the IRS 800 number. I call and no one can give me an answer as to what is the hold up. I dont owe any money and there seems to not be an error on my end says the IRS customer service, but yet still no explanation to what the hold up it. They do however say that this is way to long and that it should have been proccesed. So my question is… Is any one else having this problem, is there a reason for the hold up.

  40. Christina says:

    I just got a call from the IRS and she said that the single parent and displaced homemaker clauses from HUD do not qualify for the credit. I don’t know that she had any idea what she was talking about but there it is.

  41. Brandon says:


    We are living with the “me too” generation. It doesn’t help that the government also believes it is responsible for giving people (mainly businesses) money. That is in addition to the existing welfare system. The problem is that they are giving away taxpayer money. If anything they should be giving our money *back* to us. In a sense this credit could be considered something like that but of course not everyone qualifies.

    Not everyone qualifies for the child tax credit but I don’t hear anyone ever complain they don’t qualify for that. We can’t all qualify for the same tax credits….if we did the Treasury would have possibly been out of money long ago. But it will soon be out of money anyway if Obama has anything to do with it.

    I don’t think a lot of people realize that this money is coming from taxpayer money. It doesn’t come from an infinite supply so there has to be restrictions on who can qualify if only for that reason. Then again maybe they got the mentality it is infinite from Obama who seems to think it is infinite. If you keep printing money then I guess it is but you have other consequences when you do that, such as the price of oil goes up which means gasoline goes up.

    Bottom line: The gov’t is not our parents and we shouldn’t expect anything from them in the way of financial support. If anything should be given to us it should be any money already turned over in the form of taxes but only so much of that can be done because, again, there is only a finite supply and we still have to have money in the Treasury to pay for stuff like gov’t employees, etc.

    By the way, good take on the situation zebov.

  42. Wow… entitlement entitlement entitlement. There’s a whole lot of complaining in these comments. NONE of us have actually done anything to deserve this credit. If you bought a house without the assumption you would get this credit, then why in the world are you complaining? You got what you paid for. If you bought a house at the end of 2008 and qualify for the interest-free loan, but not the straight-up money handout, they you have nothing to complain about, you got exactly what you expected to get when you bought your house (and maybe more!). Come on people! What is with this ridiculous since of entitlement?! Goodness gracious!

  43. Brandon says:


    It is a federal credit, not a state credit.


    Read the details of the new law (old law combined with the mods in the stimulus plan) and/or the new tax form (Form 5405 I believe from to see the stipulations. I don’t recall if the modifications included in the stimulus plan removed the “relative” stipulation. If they aren’t removed then you don’t qualify.

  44. Does this credit apply to all states?

  45. With regard to question #38 and your answer #39. I purchased my home on April 14, 2008 from my grandmother. We have a signed agreement that has been recorded with the county recorder’s office. I pay all taxes, insurance, etc. I also pay her 5.5% interest and will do so for the 30 years of the terms of the purchase agreement. (prime plus 1/4 at the time of the sale). Do I still not qualify because it was my grandmother? The terms of the sale and repayment are the same as if it were a private seller I did not know carrying the loan. Am I just out of luck?

  46. Kerensa,

    Because that is the way the people who make the laws modified the existing law in the details of the stimulus plan that Obama signed. If you don’t like it contact your Congressmen because they are the ones that voted on it (and one of their offices would have made the suggestion to write it that way). Don’t expect any changes though. They did it in order to create a better incentive for people to buy homes.

  47. Why do people that recieved the Tax credit in 08 have to pay beck, yet if you buy in 09 you do not?

  48. If I am looking to purchase a foreclosed home, will I qualify for the tax credit??

  49. Christina says:

    I have two questions:
    I own a home but am refinancing and adding my fiance to the loan and the deed. He has never owned a home so does a refi count for the credit?

    My parents are separated and in the separation agreement he is keeping their home. It looks like she would qualify as a displaced homemaker for the credit but since they are still married how should she file her taxes???

  50. Amy,

    Based on the original wording of the Act (forget the real name) as it was written in 2008 and the wording in the stimulus bill used to modify the original’s Act wording, yes. I listed the original dates of qualifying in my last message however those dates have been modified to now be that if you closed on your first house on or after January 1, 2009 up to sometime around November/December of 2009 then you get $8,000 and don’t have to pay it back.

    Yes, it is semi-arbitrary. Yes, it could be considered by those who don’t qualify for $8000 to be unfair but think of the people who don’t qualify for the $7500 either. There are limited tax dollars to go around (even less now that AIG, CitiGroup, and BoA have been given billions) so they can’t give everyone who bought a house money without putting the country in an even worse position than it already is. Those who wanted money from TARP, TARP2 and the American Investement and Recovery Act (I think that’s the name of the stimulus bill) are basically asking for an allowance from Big Daddy. The government is not our parents and any money we (citizens AND businesses) do get is the People’s money. It does not grow on trees.

    I hope you are glad you get $7500. You could have easily gotten $0 either through not qualifying at all like some people or simply because Congress didn’t have to pass that bill last year. There are many things I don’t qualify for under the tax law because I’m single with no kids, don’t make enough money, make too much, etc. but I don’t complain about them. I just don’t meet the various qualifications. Those are the rules. Simple as that. Best you can do is complain to your Congressmen but I doubt anything will change the qualifications as they stand now for the first time home buyer’s credit.

    Bottom line though is that you should consult a tax law professional rather than someone on this forum. Be careful who you talk to though because even some of them are unaware that the stimulus bill had provisions for modifying the original Housing Act last year. It wouldn’t surprise me if some Congressmen didn’t know the modifications were in there since they probably didn’t read the entire bill during the few weeks they were trying to pass it.

  51. Brandon,
    Thanks for the reply.. Let me get this straight… Since I closed in 2008 I have to pay it back, but If I had closed in 2009 I wouldnt have to pay it back???

  52. Brandon says:

    Erika, the criteria is that you must have closed on the house after April 8, 2008 up to July 1, 2009 to claim the $7500. The close date is what they go by to determine if you owned it during the time they said you must in order to meet the criteria. So no, you don’t qualify.

    Amy, the bill was the wish list (aka the stimulus bill) that Obama signed into law a week or so ago. The modifications inserted into the stimulus bill which apply to the housing bill last year raise the $7500 to $8000 and remove the stipulation that you have to pay it back (as well as relax stipulations for qualifying). You have to have bought (closed) on your house in 2009 in order to qualify for the $8000, otherwise you only get the $7500 and you have to pay it back. Those are the rules (in a nutshell).

  53. I was getting my taxes prepared at HR block and the lady said that they were trying to pass a bill where you will not have to repay the $7500 tax credit at all. Has anyone heard anthing about this bill? It would be nice if we didnt have to repay it. Also she told me that since the money is a loan, we dont have to claim it as income next year. Please advise me as to if this is correct or not.

  54. What if I purchased my house in March 2008 but move in to the house on July? Do I qualify for the $7500 credit?

  55. What if I purchased my house in March 2008 but move in to the house on July? Do I qualify for the $7500 credit?

  56. darkKnight says:

    damn..closed the house on april 8th 2008! missed the $7500 interest free loan by a day :( is there anything that could be done?

  57. What method is the irs going to use to verify that you just bought a house. title or loan?

  58. Daisha…

    You could perhaps do what you have mentioned. The trick will be NOT to live in the Condo long enough for it to be considered a primary residence. Make sure your loan is adjusted to reflect that, rent it out for a few months, etc.

    Make sense?

    Obviously, I would still consult someone for accuracy of this opinion.

    Hope this helps!

  59. Marie Retals says:

    Daisha – You cannot take the $8000 because technically you are not a first time home buyer. In order to take the credit, you have to have NOT owned a housse within the last 3 years. I would take the $7500 credit for the condo.

  60. Question! My husband and I saved up and purchased a condo in Aug. 2008. We qualify for the $7500 tax credit, but I already want to sell the condo and buy an actual home. We haven’t filed our taxes yet. I was wondering if there was a way to not claim our condo, sell, and buy and new property and still qualify for the $8000 credit. Anyone know?

  61. I have a question or possibly just someone to explain this. I purchased my home in 09/09/08 from my parents but paid full value price of the home. WHy is it that im not eligible because I purchased from a family member. Why is that a stipulation?

  62. Rob:
    The new form for the $8000 credit is out and you will be able to amend your taxes to get the raiming $500. You can also wait for next year if you’d like to claim the rest of your monies. You will not however, be able to “double dip.” My situation was the same as yours but I waited until the new form came out. You will not have to pay back the $7500 as you fall within the new guidelines.

  63. I got an interesting situation here, and ive read all sorts of things. Im a first time homebuyer, and qualified for the 7500 tax credit, and did my taxes in January, done and filed, refunds and this credit received. My home was bought on January 12,2009. And now with the new 8000, should I amend my 2008 return to get this credit instead, or should I wait until 2009, receiving the 8000 on my 2009 return, even though I received the 7500 in 2008? Would be ok with me of course, but just wondering if anyone else has any info or knowledge on this. Id just use one to pay the other off I think. Very strange rules though but im not complaining, the tax credit helped me greatly in my decision.

  64. i have signed a contract today on a trailer in a trailor park today that i must fix up by may 19th 2009 and then they will give me the trailer and i must put it in my name by june 19th 2009 so the trailer is mine by july 2009 so far i have put 2000 dollers in the trailer it is my first home so will i get the tax credit next year

  65. This is totally unfair. I purchased my home in Sept. of 08 and I recieved the tax credit of 7500 dollars thats I have to repay but the people who purchase in 09 get 8000 dollars and don’t have to repay? What the Hell is that all about!!! That is not right!

  66. Diane, you only have to pay it back in full within 3 years if you sell your house you just bought within 3 years after filing for the credit. Otherwise you don’t have to pay back the $8,000 at all. The $7,500 has to be paid back in full but over a 15 year period starting on the 2nd year after you filed for the credit.

    They can’t change their minds on this on a whim. If they could they would do so for any other tax law that exists. It must be modified by Congress for them to say one day that you must pay it back in full. That isn’t what the law states now so unless another amendment is passed you only have to pay it back if you sell the house within 3 years.

  67. The bill is set. They cannot change the Bill, At the time of you taking the Credit/loan. They must honor What on the Bill or Form 5405

  68. The bill is set. They cannot change the Bill, At the time of you taking the Credit/loan. They must honor What What on the Bill or Form 5405

  69. Quick Question- I just filed my taxes and would qualify for this tax credit. I’m still on the fence. On the one hand- I could use the extra money- ( 2 brothers with kids and no jobs), But on the other one, I don’t want the gov.t, to say 3 years from now- Pay all in full back now!! Is there any chance of something like this happening?

  70. Will this loan affect my credit score?

  71. Marie Retals says:

    Hey Brandon – shut up! This isn’t the forum to go spewing your anti-Obama crap. We are all hard-working people that are trying to find out answers to this confusing new tax credit thing. Some of us are super annoyed that we miss out…by a matter of days. That does not give you the right to call us whiners. I am a taxpayer too – how is this “other people’s money”? I did everything right – saved and bought a house that I can AFFORD. Because of some arbitrary date that was picked out of a hat, I miss out on a tax credit that would really help right now. I don’t even care about the “free” money being given out to those buying this year. I would gladly pay back the $7500.

    Get off your high horse and find another forum if you want to leave comments like that.

  72. For people who are whining that they don’t qualify for the $7500 or the $8000 or who only qualify for the $7500…stop whining. Congress never had to give it to people in the first place.

    There are stipulations because they are giving out taxpayer money without the taxpayer having a say in the matter except with comments to their Congressmen prior to the vote. You are using other people’s money when you accept this tax credit. There is only so much of it and there is only so much that can be allocated to ideas like this. There are still roads to be built, money to be given to California to build a railroad to Las Vegas and other earmarks that are part of Obama’s Christmas wish list. It isn’t free and there is only so much money to go around.

    The cost of the new law is below $800 billion partially due to the tax credit going from $15,000 to $8,000. People obviously don’t realize the repercussions this plan has on the economy (there is no guarantee it will help in the first place) when you have to print new money to pay for something like this. The dollar goes *down*. That has bad consequences but nobody seems to care about that. They just are greedy and want their fair share. Life isn’t fair though. Everyone can’t be given a handout at taxpayer expense. There has to be limitations.

  73. What happens if you apply for the credit and later it’s determined you didn’t qualify? How well do they even check that you qualify or not? I am in a unique situation that is not clearly covered. By the wording found on the 5405 form I believe I qualify. Wording on the website makes it sound like I don’t qualify. If I had never seen that website, I’d have no doubts. Now I’m not sure what to do. Some say they will never check anyway and if they do I have a valid argument, but I know that arguing with IRS is going to be a losing battle.

  74. Please write all your congressmen (House of Reps & Senators) and you can also go on the White House website and ask them to go retroactive with the credit. I bought my house the end of October and I think it is ridiculous that I have to pay it back and someone who bought their house 2 months later does not. The housing market was just as bad then as it is how. Maybe if we get enough people to write about this they will retroactive the no-payback credit.

  75. Has this one been resolved? The wife bought a house before getting married and they both lived in it as a primary residence within 3 years but only her name was on the deed and mortgage. They bought a new house this past summer and the husband qualified for an FHA loan and only his name is on the deed. Can he claim the credit if he files married filing joint or at least $3,750?

  76. Good question… not sure, Sherrie!

    (It would be nice if the IRS/Government realized just how confusing they made this tax and just give it to everyone!)

  77. What if I am married but I am the sole signer on the mortgage and file injured spouse. Can I assign the entire $7500 credit to myself when I list out the income and deductions?

  78. What if i have co-signers that are not first time home buyers???????????????????

  79. I closed last year July 17, 2008. My dad cosigned with me and has owned plenty of houses. I am a first time homebuyer. Do I still qualify even though he cosigned with me?

  80. OOPS! I meant $3,750 interest free loan if filing jointly to put against back taxes.

  81. Sherrie,

    Yes, likely… it will absord the tax credit. Filing Married but separately will only allow half the credit ($3,750). So, weigh out which will give you the better return. (Your husband could actually get a $3,650 interest free loan to pay his back taxes if you file jointly. Again, I’m sure your decision will depend on the amount he owes.

    Good Luck!

  82. I am married filing jointly. I purchased a home in May 2008 and am the sole signer on the mortgage. I am considering taking the new home buyers credit BUT want to know if my husband owes back child support will this home buyer credit will be intercepted for this back support? If so would it be better to file married filing separately or to file some sort of injured spouse?

  83. Marie Retals says:

    Don…I feel for you. I think this whole thing is just ridiculous. Make it fair across the board – all purchases in 2008 through the 2009 cutoff date, and if one group has to pay it back, they they ALL should.

    I would be happy for even the interest free loan. I just filed my taxes and considered just taking it (by lying about our closing date). I decided that it wasn’t worth the risk. I really wish that they would change this to include January – March (and 1st week of April 2008) purchases. I wish I had known about this – and wish that my realtor was informed. It just sucks.

  84. Now the new club is bought my house on Dec 31st 2008 24hrs before the new $8000 credit that will not need to be repaid instead I have to pay back a $7500 loan. I don’t know why they just don’t make the $7500 already given to people the same way, don’t make them pay it back. STUPID

  85. Add one more to the “bought a house before April 9, 2008 club”…..

  86. Update: The Senate’s $15,000 homebuyer tax credit has been stripped from the final version. In it’s place is an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers. Note that this credit does not need to be paid back, unlike the original $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit. To qualify, the purchase has to be made between January 1 and August 31, 2009 and you have to stay in your home for three years. Obama will sign it no earlier than Tuesday because he already left DC for an extended weekend in Chicago (and it still has to pass the Senate as of the time I write this).

  87. Marie Retals says:

    My husband and I fall into the “bought a house before April 9, 2008” club. We closed on March 31st. If we knew, we would have pushed the closing date back a little. We could REALLY use this money right now. We would be happy to pay it back as a loan (although I am hearing now that people are not going to have to repay). I am just pissed. Plain and simple. We would “stimulate” the economy with that money by making improvements to our home. Did the economy suddenly tank overnight? They should make this retroactive for all FTHB purchases in 2008. It is only fair.

  88. The issue of land contracts seems to have been answered quite vaguely here. Land contracts are treated differently from State to State. If your State treats a land contract for real estate as a sale, with the purchaser having equitable title, then you will qualify for the credit provided you qualify in all other aspects of the credit.

    Land contracts is more a question for a tax lawyer, as opposed to a tax accountant. And as one lawyer has said on the issue, the federal government writes the laws, but it is the State that determines the legal definition where the federal law fails to do so.

    I received a confirmation call from the IRS on the 12th stating that land contracts do qualify. Regardless of the contract sale being reported as an installment sale, it is still a sale. The date of filing in the county’s Deeds Office would be the closing date.

    Anybody needing to validate their qualification for this credit should really be calling the IRS for confirmation on the issue.

  89. If I purchased my home in 2008, but do not take the $7500 FTHB credit, can I now take the new $8000 credit, which I read DOES NOT have to be paid back?

  90. Kevin, if you bought in Mid-March 2008, you’re SOL. Sorry.

  91. I just read an article this morning about the 15K being dropped and replaced by an $8,000 tax credit. Does anyone know or have read anything regarding this and how does it work? It does state that it’s for first time homebuyers who buy a home by August 1st, but no mention of it having to be paid back.

  92. Does anyone know if there is an way to get the $7500 if you closed in Mid March 2008.

  93. This just in (as of 5:26PM Wednesday that is) from MSNBC:

    Working to accommodate the new, lower overall limit of the bill, negotiators effectively wiped out a Senate-passed provision for a new $15,000 tax credit to defray the cost of buying a home, these officials said. The agreement would allow taxpayers to deduct the sales tax paid on new car purchases, but not the interest on loans for the same vehicles.

    So it looks like no need to worry about when I close. I’ll just qualify for the $7500 like I planned. Oh well. The above comes from

  94. I hope they sign it into law soon. I close on my house this Friday so they have 3 days to reconcile the different versions and have Obama sign it into law to make us pay for his christmas wishlist. At least I’ll qualify for the $7500 which helps pay for my furniture. I won’t whine about the $15K like other people have whined about the $7500 or even the $15K. I understand there are criteria and I just won’t meet them unfortunately to get the $15K. Life goes on.

  95. For those who bought in January:
    The House passed the bill for a $7500 tax credit that doesn’t need to be repaid and is affective for purchases of homes after 01/01/09.
    The Senate changed it to a $15,000 tax credit but it is only affective for people who purchases after it is signed.
    If the Senate passes there’s today, then there will be a meeting between members of the Senate and members of the House to work out the differences between the two bills.
    I bought in January, so I obviously want the $15,000 tax credit the Senate proposed but with the start date the House proposed.
    You need to make your voice hear and contact your Senators and House Representative. This is America, so you voice is your popwer. E-mail them or call them. Here is a convenient number. CAll and enter your Zip code and it will get you in contact with all of your Congressmen. Decisions are being made, do it now. 1-866-924-NAHB (6242)

  96. Don’t treat it as a second $7500 because it isn’t, technically. It’s either $7500 or $15,000. If you bought a house last year you qualify for the $7500 (to put it simply). If you bought a house after Jan 1 of this year you qualify for the $15,000 and technically for the $7500 too but you don’t get both. It’s one or the other based on my understanding.

    If you bought a house this year and already got your $7500 then you could probably file a modification if the $15,000 amendment passes and receive an additional $7500 that way but I’m not a tax pro. That only works if you purchased the house this year based on the criteria I know of concerning this amendment. The ending date from what I read today is 1 year from the date the amendment passes. It is part of Obama’s Christmas wishlist so if that passes then some people will get $15K. Note that the Senate and House versions of this are different and the final version may be different from what you have recently read in various media reports.

  97. I am under the impression that if you get the $7500 this year you don’t get the $15,000 for this year. I thought the $15k was if you bought this year after Jan 1st

  98. Brandon…Have you done any research to find out how we will get the “second” $7,500 if the new stimulus passes today. I read that your brother already got his, do we know how soon we will get the other half?

  99. So what is the 15k credit suppose to be about?

  100. Hello all,
    So another question about the dates? Could we consider renovating a house to the point of it being unlivable while renting the same as construction. We bought the end of febuary but due to the renovations could not move in until mid april whats the interpretation on this? Thanks

  101. Thanks for the updates. When I go to the HR Block website and check my return it kicks back a message saying, that the IRS has released the funds to be direct deposited to my account. Guess, I will wait and see over the next couple days, and I might try that number if I get some time tomorrow.

    Maybe if they mess it up, I can reapply and exchange my 7,500 credit for the 15k credit :)


  102. Matt…I went to HR Block a couple of days before you did and I just got my return including the tax credit on Friday, the IRS ONLY makes direct deposits on Fridays! You should get your return next Fri (2/13) but it should be a concern to you that your getting that message when you to to the WMD site. When I checked it always gave me a date. If I were you, I would call the Irs hotline 800-829-1954 and check for that message. Good luck to you!

  103. Matt: You’ll have to find the actual message but I seem to recall someone posting on this forum that the $7500 wasn’t being released until 1/31 to people filing their taxes. So if that is the case you could maybe calculate 8 days from 1/31 which means you could hopefully see a direct deposit on Monday or Tuesday of this coming week.

    On the other hand, my brother already received his refund which included the $7500 and he got his about 2 weeks ago by now so the 1/31 theory probably isn’t true. Hope that helps.

  104. Question for anyone who has gotten the tax credit…

    How long did it take? The past 4 years, I have filed with HR Block (efile) and each year like clockwork, I got my money on the 8th day. This year I filed on 1/25, its been 14 days, and still no direct deposit. I verified my SS# and my bank routing numbers on my return and everything is legit. What really has me worried, is when I go to and click the ‘Where is my refund” link, it says I cannot be found, and to check back a week later.

    What are you guys finding out.


  105. Abigail: And you are blaming me for what exactly? I haven’t done anything and I’m definitely not trailor trash so I suggest you don’t start throwing insults if you know what is good for you. I was the one being attacked by a boy posing as a girl because he is too coward to be himself in a public forum. Whoever it was just didn’t like the truth I guess. I did not instigate anything, especially with anyone in particular. The attack came out of nowhere and for no reason. By the way, little late on your comment given “Kimberly’s” attack was 2 days ago. The show is already over by now.

  106. Kimberly and Brandon,

    It is disturbing and disrespectful to everyone participating in the blog the way you are corresponding to each other. Stop behaving like you were trailer trash.

  107. Hello everyone. My wife and I bought our first home and closed June 20,2008. I do have a FHA loan, and filed my taxes yesterday and qualified
    for the $7500 dollar credit. I am grateful even if I have to pay it back
    for the next 15 years. My wife just lost her job on wednesday, so this will help for the loss of her income. regardless if they amend the credit
    or not I would take this credit now. with this ecomnomy spinning out of control and getting worse by the minute. Let congress figure out the
    stipulations. Hope this helps, it is a tax free loan. worst case you will be deducted $500.00 from your taxes for 15 years.since you own a home just make up to $500.00 in donations to offset this. I would take this
    credit and Run. Thanks for your time.

  108. Sorry if there’s a duplicate post here. I just now saw where links can take up to 24 hours (Do we have that long to wait?)

    So, I’m reposting with a few spaces (and no dots) in the link. You should be able to decipher!

    Thanks… and see below

    I found this interesting website where we can directly e-mail our US Senate and House Members.

    I voiced a strong opinion about making the NEW amendments fully retroactive to ALL home buying starting with the original plan (4/9/08). Hopefully that will help some of us get the credit, get the larger credit… and no one will have to pay it back!

    Maybe if they here from many of us, they will understand how much we need the help! It is, by the way, our tax dollars!

    Good Luck to Everyone!

    www fixhousingfirst com

  109. I found this interesting website where we can directly e-mail our US Senate and House Members.

    I voiced a strong opinion about making the NEW amendments fully retroactive to ALL home buying starting with the original plan (4/9/08). Hopefully that will help some of us get the credit, get the larger credit… and no one will have to pay it back!

    Maybe if they here from many of us, they will understand how much we need the help! It is, by the way, our tax dollars!

    Good Luck to Everyone!

  110. Be careful being too insightful that the IRS hasn’t yet determined that you may (or may not) be eligible. They may not have checked, yet… but that doesn’t mean they will not follow-up. They can still determine the circumstances and then there could be a penalty.

    Just a heads up!

  111. Hello everyone…I am leaving this “tip” for all of you who continue to debate the fairness of some of the rules. I did my taxes through H&R Block, I answered alll of the questions BUT one of the questions was: Did you buy your house from a “close” relative. I said no, because I don’t consider a grandparent close. After I filed I read that I was not eligible because of the relative factor. However, this morning I got my refund and the 7,500 tax credit was included. Just thought someione might appreciate this bit of news. Have a great day!

  112. I just want you all to know that I went to HR Block and they told my husband and I about the tax credit. I answered all the questions, they asked us: Did you buy your home from a close relative, I answered NO, not knowing that the IRS considered a grandparent a close relative. We even have the same last name! I got my $7,500 today from the IRS by direct deposit. I agree with you Doug… I encourage those of you to claim the credit if you feel you qualify! I did not think I was going to get it because of the relative factor but I DID and now I have the money I deserve and need. Good Luck!!

  113. Just a quick note: I am not the Kimberly above. I agree 100% with you Doug. As a matter of fact I received my first time homebuyers credit this morning (fri) direct deposit. When I went to HR Block and was informed of the tax credit, I answered the tax agents questions. One of them was, Did you but your home from a close relative. I answered NO, not knowing that a grandparent was a close relative according to the IRS. I received the tax credit even though I bought my home from a relative EVEN with the same last name. So the IRS is NOT checking who we bought our homes from. I’m very thankful I received the tax credit and I encourage people to claim the credit who deserve it!

    Thank you…Have a great day!!!

  114. Hello everybody. I haven’t posted on this forum for several weeks, however I continue to check in from time to time to see what is being posted. Although I am a Tax Accountant, this particular law relating to the First Time Home Buyers Credit is somewhat vague and ambiguous.

    If Congress amends this particular law relevant to this credit, whether it be doubled to $15,000 and/or an absolute handout as opposed to an interest free deferred loan, it will only become more complex. If one is unsure whether or not one effectively qualifies for this credit, and that individual claims the credit anyway, how many think the IRS would “audit” all of the individuals claiming the F.T.H.B. credit to verify the authenticity of each individual’s claims?

    For instance, how would the IRS know whether or not a residence was purchased from a relative inasmuch as the HUD-1 statement does not provide any information regarding the relationship between the seller and the buyer. I have read that some of the above statements refer to homes purchased by a relative, although the purchase was absolutely legitimate. Why is that purchase denied the benefit of this credit? To me, that appears to be absolutely unjust, however the law explicitly states that you are disqualified for this credit

    If you would believe that this is unjust and unfair, you would have two choices. One is to write your Congressperson and express your sentiments about the arbitrary, discriminatory and unjust clauses incorporated within this piece of legislation, and propose that the Legislature structures a compromised amendment to eradicate the arbitrary and unjust stipulations contained in this Bill.

    The other option would be to claim the $7,500.00 F.T.H.B. Credit on your tax return, and hope that Congress passes a Bill to amend this law in your favor, and to become effective retroactively.

    Also, one could potentially argue with the IRS that this Bill is unconstitutional as being inequitable, unfair, prejudicial and biased and a violation of one’s Constitutional Rights relevant to one’s Pursuit of Happiness or any other “right” contained within the Constitution which may be applicable in this instance, however, I would imagine that this approach would be a long shot..

    I am not suggesting that anyone become in essence a Tax Protester, however, if you feel that you are being treated unfairly by this Bill the way it is currently written, you can only voice your opinion(s) to the individuals who have the ability and power to make the appropriate changes, i.e. your Congressperson and/or President Obama, not the bloggers on this particular forum. You will simply become more confused.

    As the EDITOR stated previously, you need to take the comments within this “Finance Blog” with a “grain of salt”. Furthermore, to the ones who have become highly opinionated in a negative manner, I believe that there exists another venue for venting your negative sentiments – not on this particular board. This will do nothing more than discourage many from participating in the forum.Please try to become courteous for the benefit of the many posters who truly need legitimate advice.

    I am surprised at the sheer volume of posts on this site, therefore, it is indicative that this subject is of great concern to many. I wish I could provide answers for each individual post, however, I am absolutely swamped with business and I simply do not have the time. I felt compelled to provide my two cents at this time for the purpose of getting this forum back on the right track again, and to provide more fodder to some posters to consider.

    I will check back later to read some more of these interesting questions and responses to the various posts.

    Good luck to everybody, and hopefully the Legislature will amend this law to become more equitable and just for many of those above who appear to have been “screwed” in various senses, by the capricious and arbitrary clauses incrporated within this piece of legislation.


  115. Goodnight pussy boy Brandon!!

  116. Oh boo-hoo baby…. Are u crying little bitch boy?

  117. Yeah because you really have me figured out. You didn’t manipulate me in the least. How old are you anyway? 13? You need to grow up. Girls in junior high act like you do and that isn’t a compliment. They are the ones that other people called bitches. Go back to putting your makeup on.

  118. oh Brandon…how you have truly figured me out..oh boo -hoo! Your such a ass to fall into the bull..your so easily manipulated… Again to my amusement…Hee-hee

  119. Actually I’m athletic and taken. I have a life and a girlfriend who is currently at work. I think it is quite obvious by your post who really is the fat, single nerd between the 2 of us. Only those who have the problem themselves are going to project their problem onto someone else to make himself/herself feel better. I’m sorry you are morbidly obese and no one wants you but you shouldn’t take it out on others. It just makes you look even worse than your fat flabs already make you look.

  120. brandon….. Are you a fat, single, geek nerd? I bet you are douche bag!!! Why don’t you go and get some puss and get a life…….hee-hee you conservative ass&$!?

  121. Bud: Technically, the bill already passed half of the Congress (Senate) but must still pass the House. Until then though, nothing is set in stone and from what I read from the AP article about the $15K, it seems that it could still be null and void depending on how the wishlist plan pans out over the next 10-15 days. That is when people are saying it should either be struck down or passed by the gov’t.

    And thanks for backing me up. Seems someone (a coward since they did it as a guest account) wanted to make everyone think my advice is incorrect. I’ve always said on here (for the last week or so that I’ve been posting) that people need to consult their accountant for the more complicated questions and now the Editor has had to step in and agree with me.

    Josh: Porn is only one if the issues that is a problem at the present time. The slumping economy is not as important (or shouldn’t be) as maintaining societal standards. Societal standards will always be something we have (as low as they may be) but the slump we are in eventually goes away even on its own as they (i.e. recessions) always do. But when the recession goes away you are left with the usual things you must combat such as education, health care, religious rights, etc.

    Marci: It matters because the people proposing the bill said it matters. As I told Tim in my last major response, the money to give to people is not unlimited. They must put restrictions in place. I assume the one you are running into is that you can’t have bought the house from a relative? If that is true then I’m sorry but we have to live with the restrictions put into place by those who are nice enough to propose the idea in the first place. They could have not passed this Act at all. Of course to you the end result is the same, unfortunately. If you want to know about the new bill try searching online. I’ve found very few details about it so far and I imagine other people don’t know much about it either.

    Tim: Overall my posts are my opinions I guess, but I answer with facts when people post questions and I cite other websites when needed. The fact that the money is not unlimited and therefore that is why you only get a certain amount (if any at all)is a fact. Also, a true deduction doesn’t mean you don’t pay it back. A deduction means your gross income becomes lower for purposes of determining how much in taxes you owe. I think you mean you want to find out whether it becomes a credit or a refund. A refund you keep. Someone will know here as soon as more details are released (if they haven’t been already). I did a simple search last night to try to find more info for you but couldn’t find anything from this year (found stuff from a year ago so it sounds like Isakson has been pushing a while for the $15K).

  122. Karen, thank you for the reply; I hope it works out for you as well.

    Brandon, I am grateful for your opinion (which is all it is.) I don’t care if I get $7500 or $15000. I want to find out whether or not I will have to pay it back (IE whether it is still a tax credit, or a true deduction.) I thought perhaps someone here would know, and maybe someone will. If not, I will consult a qualified professional.

  123. Taylor the bill still must be approved by congress.. Until then, it’s simply a proposal. And yes Brandon is correct – the home must already be purchased before you can receive the credit.

  124. Brandon-

    It’s a sad day when you think porn is a bigger issue in our society than the slumping economy. You must not be praying hard enough.

  125. so does anybody know since the senate passed the 15,000 credit does that mean that everybody that was going to get 7500.00 this year will be getting 15,000

  126. EDITOR’S NOTE: There was a comment here this morning that claimed it was from me. It was not me, but left by a guest commenter. It claimed that a particular commenter involved in this discussion was providing inaccurate information in this discussion.

    Please remember that the comments on this blog is a forum open to everybody. People responding are free to say what they want, but it is their opinion and that is all. Take anything said in this discussion or any other Web discussion with a grain of salt!!!

    I am not a tax professional, so I cannot necessarily substantiate the advice left by any commenters on this post one way or the other.

    If you have tricky questions regarding this credit, you’ll need a professional tax accountant or attorney to look at YOUR individual situation. That said, please also do not post comments saying you are somebody you are not!!!

    Thank You!

  127. I bought my home from my parents in July 08 – it was completely legitimate – I went through a bank, I have a mortgage for $155,000 and they moved into a condo they bought. I had tried to buy 2 other homes, but they fell through (1st seller didn’t accept offer and 2nd wouldn’t pay for things needing fixed). I wanted to move and my parents wanted to move, so it just worked out. As I understand it I don’t qualify for the tax credit, but what I don’t understand is why? It is a loan basically against my future tax refunds, so it is money I will be paying back. Why does it matter from whom I bought the property? Also, will the possible new bill from the Senate change this?

  128. Looks like the 15,000 tax credit amendment passed the Senate tonight.

  129. Jaya: You must provide your closing date and the purchase price of the home in order to claim that you own the home for purposes of this tax credit. This means you can’t use the money as part of the down payment. I hope you already had enough cash for a down payment w/o counting on the tax credit because it would be a little late to find out now that you aren’t getting part (or all) of the money you planned to use for the down payment in time to use it.

  130. Hello, I need clarification and can’t seem to find it anywhere. I am closing on my house at the end of the February. I have not filed my taxes yet and I do qualify for the credit. Can I claim it and use the money for my down payment? Thanks!

  131. Tim: I’ll let others deal with your first two questions since I haven’t read up on the new stuff passed today. As for your last one, if you have to take the $7500 (or for anyone who has to), it’s easy: because that’s the way life is. Be happy you get anything at all. Geez, no one is happy around here unless they get everything they want or, at least, that everything is equitable. If the gov’t gives someone $1 you sound like you are going to be holding out your hand asking for $1 too. The gov’t is not your mommy and you aren’t owed $15K for free (let alone at 0% interest as with the original $7500). They are giving it to you and others because they feel sorry for you and/or the economy and want to make some attempt at revitalizing it. But it doesn’t come in unlimited supply so they have to set restrictions.

    I hope you realize this money (whether it is $7500 or $15K) has to come from somewhere. The guy who advanced it in Congress already calculated how much it will cost and it is going to cost billions of dollars to do this (see ). That means less funding for something else or just more debt for the country as a whole. That isn’t a good thing.

    So when you say things like you don’t believe it is fair for you or someone else to possibly have to pay back the credit just remember that you are lucky to get it at all. Some people won’t qualify under the old or new rules (whatever the new ones are) and yet here you are complaining about $7500 and having to pay it back. Some may understand that is just how things go while others will complain that life isn’t fair. Please people, just deal with it.

    Tim, I do hope you qualify for something as I hope many people do but the facts are that some people won’t. You have to live with the possibility (prepare yourself now) that you may be one of the ones who doesn’t. Everyone else who thinks they are owed something by the gov’t (besides the usual taxes we pay out the ass for :) ) for buying a house should take heed of this as well.

  132. Tim,

    I’m sorta in the same boat as you. I qualified (hint: past tense). I married before the end of December 2008. Now, since married and spouse has owned a home in the last 3 years (although this was solely my purchase, mortgage and on the deed.. and I PAY for the entire household alone), I qualify for 0! The incentive was a huge part of my buying. Now, I am totally out everything!

    Watch out… don’t get married unless the new bill says ‘every purchase’. Well, unless you BOTH qualify for first time homebuyer.

    If this bill will retro to the original housing credit (4/9/08), I think that would ease a lot of our tension since we used this information to guide us to a purchase – although, who informed us it would only get better? Misleading sales practice? Feels like it!

    My quote: Who would buy a car today on sale… if it would be free next month?

  133. Hello all. I hope someone can assist me.. I qualify for every facet of the $7500 first time home buyer tax credit. I am aware that is is an interest free loan. Today, the Senate made it a $15,000 tax credit. As I understand it, this does not have to be paid back, but only applies to purchases done on or after January 1, 2009.I closed in late April 2008.

    My questions:

    – Can I now take a $15,000 tax credit on my taxes? Do I have to repay it?

    – If I cannot, and have to take the $7500 credit, since I bought before Jan. 1, do I have to repay it in full?

    – If so, how is it fair that I have to repay the credit and those that buy half a year later do not?

  134. Brandon, I totally agree with you on the subject. I think it is wrong and not fair. But when people say its because of Bush, and that Obama is going to change everything. Well your going to find out over promise under deliver is whats going to happen. I hope they change it. I also hope people understand that if you try and listen in life, you will go far and reach your goals. Obama is going to do that, I hope. We can all complain about one aspect of what the Goverment does to our lifes, but we sometimes forget, do you want them to hold your hand, because some of us sure sound like it.

  135. Kim: It isn’t your website either so I can say what I want. As far as my being an ass, the better question would be why are so many people on this site complaining and wanting the government to give them money? People need to accept that they just can’t qualify for everything under the Sun.

    I saw a post on here from January where the woman unfortunately had a AGI of $100 over the $95K salary cap. Of course, at $95K you only receive a portion of the $7500 in the first place but over that you don’t get anything. Why did they pick $95K? Who the hell knows? But the people who had an AGI above that don’t get anything. It really does suck, especially if you miss it by only $100 but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

  136. Brandon…You are getting seriously our of control..STOP answering people’s questions. This is not your website and your political views are not welcome here ANYMORE!! Why are you being such an ass, really?

  137. Hey Josh: It is very possible and very likely that most people are still not aware of this even with possible modifications in the news (because even those aren’t discussed much). Your life would be the same had you not heard about the credit. There are probably a slew of other Acts through which many of us don’t qualify for receiving money. Where is the outcry concerning those? The tax law itself probably includes many such things. Why not try to get welfare modified so everyone gets a handout every year? If you get some of that you don’t even have to pay it back.

    It is a sad day when the affirmation of porn in our government is less of an issue than any particular individual receiving $7500. Just goes to show this is a “me too” country now.

    Pamela: It is a federal tax credit. It was voted on in the U.S. Congress and signed into law. It is hard to read your post given the random insertion of commas but if I understand it correctly your daughter has owned 2 houses in the last 3 years so she don’t qualify for multiple reasons. The only way she could qualify is if the one in NY wasn’t her principal residence based on my understanding of Question 2 of the FAQ on

  138. My Daughter and her husband, bought a house in michigan July 2008, their 1st time home buyers in michigan, They bought and sold a house In New York, 2003-april 2008. Can they get the tax credit? I didn’t know if it’s a state tax credit or federal tax credit. Thanks Pam

  139. Brandon-

    Well, I voted and I pay my taxes. I work full-time and don’t get any handouts from the government. I feel slighted, so I’m gonna complain to my elected officials.

    January 1 through April 8 is 27% of the year, so I’m betting there’s gonna be a whole slew of people who are just now finding out that they can’t get this credit.

    And $7500 in my pocket (and then into the local economy), is a MUCH more important issue than porn. I already have plenty of that.

  140. Josh: Point being is that no matter how the Act is written or re-written people are going to be screwed and they won’t view it fair unless they personally qualify for the money.

    Your reasoning for not including houses purchased in 2007 on 2008 taxes is semi-reasonable and normally would make sense however for the First Time Home Buyer’s Act a person can claim a house purchased in 2009 on 2008 taxes (which is what I’ll be doing) so basically the regular rule of claiming something on your taxes only if it occurred in the same tax year is now thrown out the window and not applicable. It’s a wonder people aren’t complaining that they should get more than $7500 because if it is 10% of the purchase price and their house cost more than $75K then they should get more than $7500. So far I don’t think anyone, on this site at least, has complained about that. But yet there are salary requirements too (singles with AGI over $95K don’t get sqaut from this Act) and people are going to be screwed because of that.

    In summary, people are going to feel screwed and disenfranchised and whatever else you want to call it because Congress can’t include everyone using all criteria to give them money. Some things you have to just deal with. You may qualify for the next thing they plan to give you when someone else doesn’t. Life isn’t fair.

    We’re taught (or at least we used to be taught) that life isn’t fair in elementary school. Now everyone seems to want a piece of the pie. Thank the gov’t for that. Maybe I’ll start complaining that I don’t qualify for welfare because I make too much money. Damn those salary requirements. I want my free money at taxpayer expense.

    Maybe while people are writing to Obama and their Congressmen about wanting more money they will also include reasons for not voting (or voting as the case may be) on more important issues with this country such as the nominee for Attorney General (David Ogden) who supports porn and the killing of babies. I hope people are as vocal about bad people like that as they are with wanting more money.

  141. Danielle-

    I did the same- wrote to my representative, senators, and Obama. I also submitted a letter to the editor for a number of newspapers in my state. I’m hoping that there’s enough of us in this same position that will speak out, and maybe something will happen. I don’t expect it to change, but sitting around my house complaining wasn’t helping so I have nothing to lose by writing everyone I can think of.

  142. I totally agree Josh. We closed on our house Feb. 28th and didn’t move in until April 10th but it doesn’t matter. We still can’t take the credit. I live in Ohio and have written to Congressman Wilson and I’ve also written to our Senator (which is where the legislation for the Stimulas Plan is right now and there are changes being proposed to the First Time Home Buyers Act). I think that if enough of us write to our government officials, it may do some good.
    And for those people who commented and said that we should not be blaming our government, that we should be blaming our banks and mortgage companies…our bank knew nothing about it. And actually, when I heard about this Credit in September of 2008, I contacted Congressman Wilson’s office and they knew nothing as well, even though it was in the House being voted on. They said that they would get back with me.
    I’m not blaming anyone. Just trying to get what is rightfully ours. I realize that this Credit was warranted to help boost the Housing Economy by allowing people to use the money as a down payment. Great! Maybe it will work. Maybe it will entice people to go out and buy a home. But for those of us who purchased prior to that date…I would still use the money for my home…to purchase items…to improve my home. And that is boosting the economy as well.
    Anyway…I guess it sounds as though I’m whining, and maybe I am. But I will still hold on to my closing papers and say a little prayer that somehow Obama will amend the law and change the dates.
    Here’s to all of us from Jan. 1st to April 8th. Keep your heads up! :)

    P.S. I also write to Obama on his website every day. Maybe he will get sick of my emails. LOL

  143. oh yeah- my hubby and I are first time home buyers.

  144. My husband and I purchased a home in October under an FHA loan. His father (a homeowner) co-signed the loan for us. Are we eligible for the credit?

  145. Those of us who bought a house between January 1 2008 and April 8 2008 (I closed on March 31 of last year) are getting screwed, plain and simple.

    This is a tax return for 2008, every expense and income that you incurred for the calendar year of 2008 is accounted for on your taxes. So why would the credit only apply if you bought a house on April 9th or later?

    2007 is over, 2007 tax time has come and gone. so to anyone who says “well if they moved it back to January 1st, what about those people who bought a house in December of 2007?”- it’s for the very same reason you wouldn’t have counted a dependent on your 2007 tax return if they were born in January of 2008. We are doing a tax return for 2008. There is no reason to not make the credit applicable all the way to the very 1st day of the year.

  146. It’s been a while since I posted (#51), so I just saw that Dougstax answered my question (#56–THANKS!). I assumed (and maybe I shouldn’t) that when it comes to two unmarried joint-homeowners claiming mortgage interest (as well as the first-time homebuyers tax credit), it doesn’t matter if only one of them claims the full amount as long as both homeowners don’t attempt to get more than is due between the two of them.

    Let’s say, for example, that between the two of us we can claim $2,000 in mortgage interest and $7,500 in tax credits. If I claim the full $2,000 (for the mortgage interest) and the full $7,500 (for the tax credit), and he claims $0, is that considered “legitimate”?

    (In my original post I asked if my partner could claim the mortgage interest but not the tax credit, while I claimed the tax credit but not the mortgage interest. However, now it looks as if I will be claiming both–and he won’t be claiming either.)

  147. Brandon…do you have selective reading disorder…

    I didn’t say it was a new contruction…the law doesnt say NEW contruction. That was my first point. It says construct your home. I don’t see construct as being necessary building the entire project. And like I said I’m probably reaching, but i want the friggin’ money.



  149. Kelly: For what it is worth, somewhere I read that the date was “picked” just because it was the day the bill was originally authored by whoever championed it in Congress. Somehow the date just stuck because Congress never bothered to change that date and the same for the ending date of July 1, 2009.

    As for being greedy, I was referring to those who want Obama to modify it so they can receive $15K w/o need to pay it back. I’m like you as far as wanting the $7500; it is just a loan, a free loan, but a loan nonetheless. So the gov’t *will* get the money back eventually. If I called the people who want $7500 greedy then I’d be the pot calling the kettle black. I didn’t mean to word it such that it sounded like I was calling you greedy. I apologize.

  150. I have been trying to find more information on Mortgage Revenue Bonds. Can anyone explain these in further detail? What would a home buyer use one of these bonds for? Thanks!

  151. kim i have tried to file on line the computer wont let me split the 7500 unless i was filing married but filing seperate. any suggestions anyone????

  152. Brandon, i missed the cutt off by one day. i settled on April 8th 2008. I just dont see how they can just pick a random date of April 9th? For what reason? People may complain about purchasing there home in 2007, but the economy has gotten worse in 2008 and so on. And I am not being greedy, but my husband has been laid off since November, and he can not look for work since he is in a union and the credit would really help make ends meet until he goes to work. I am not going to just blow the money or something that is not needed. The money is needed to keep the roof over head! I think that a reasonable answer. Not being greedy!!

  153. Jason: For me the benefit of the $7500 is that, given that I *am* a first time home buyer, I don’t have hardly any furniture so this allows me to buy the furniture I need to make my house livable not only by me but my friends and family who visit. I already am using the money I’ve saved over the last 2 years to buy back points and as a 12% down payment on my house.

    I still have cash available and planned to buy stuff slowly over the next year but the $7500 means I can get it now and pay it back out of my refund over the next 15 years. Paying it back from the refund makes it seem like it is free money (technically it already is free since it is @ 0% interest) because the money was already taken out from the paycheck.

    Now, I already planned my purchase w/o having the knowledge of this $7500. I only found out about this a little over a week ago when my brother called me to tell me he got his $7500 already. I close on Feb 14 on my house and will take advantage of a loan (not a handout) from the gov’t. But for others who were on the verge of making an offer on a house, the $7500 means that the money they were planning on using for furniture or whatever can be used to a bigger down payment and/or buying back points and then they can use the $7500 for furniture like I’m doing.
    So in the end when viewed that way it does indeed stimulate home buying because it can make people feel better about spending more cash up front b/c they know they will get $7500 in the near future. Of course, I’m a conservative and wouldn’t take the chance of spending $7500 that I didn’t have so if people are smart they would still not make an offer for a house and secure financing in the hopes of getting the $7500. If it were me, I’d actually wait to have the $7500 in my account before making a deal that relied on it (directly or indirectly such as using it for furniture down the road and using existing cash for a down payment).

  154. Kelly: Exactly how do you expect the situation to be fair once Obama touches the Act with his golden fingers? I guess if you end up qualifying it must be fair at that point. Is that it? If he makes it retroactive back to January 1 2008 as far as the closing date for your house then that still means people who bought a house in 2007 are out of luck. Point being it is going to be unfair for a lot of people no matter how the words end up being written. The gov’t can’t be fair to everyone despite how much the Democrats want life to be fair for everyone.

    Many people on the site seem to be asking about the current qualifications however some questions are regarding the possibility of Obama modifying the Act to qualify others. For that I say that they need to wait because it doesn’t seem much info is being released about him doing that. It is bad though that people would prefer to have $15k instead of allowing the gov’t to keep it as well as the other $900 billion that is tied to it since it is all bundled within Obama’s wish list plan. Seems a lot of us are greedy bastards no matter the repercussions to the country or to our offspring. At least with the current rules the $7500 is paid back over 15 years.

  155. So if you cant have the money upfront, before you close on the house, what’s the use?
    Use the $7500 to upgrade to hardwood floors and granite countertops? So much for stimulating the housing market! This money needs to be available at a time when buyers need it most – buying down the interest rate, or increasing the down payment. Not AFTER the close.

  156. Kelly..I’m not being mean, all I’m saying is that it’s not hard to figure out if you qualify and Obama has NOT changed it yet. I think your bitter because you don’t qualify.

  157. Kimberly, you do not have to be mean about it. People are asking about it because Obama is trying to change it. I hope he does change it because I personally missed the cutt off by 1 day and it is not fair. So if you are not going to be nice about things then dont say anything at all.

  158. You all should know if you qualify by going to, search for Form 5405 and read it!!! You don’t have to be an accountant to understand it, most of you are just looking for an answer that you want to hear!

  159. Angie: My brother had an FHA loan and already received his refund which included the $7500 tax credit amount. He did it through H&R Block.

    Jason: As far as I know you have to close on the house as that is what they use to define as owning/purchasing the home. It must also be done of course within the required time frame.

    R Hammond: I’m not frustrated and yes I have been a bit sarcastic with some of my responses (2, I believe). As far as not having the answers to some of the questions, all the ones I attempted to answer required straight-forward answers because the straight-forward answers are already documented in multiple FAQs on this topic which I’ve read elsewhere. I believe I answered them completely and correctly with 1 possible exception. I don’t attempt to answer the ones related to people getting married because I haven’t look into the details b/c it doesn’t affect my situation. The only one I believe I may have not answered was the new construction one by Steve and I admitted to misunderstanding his question the first time.

    I believe for complex questions people should be consulting their accountant instead of relying on information that can easily be told to them incorrectly online. I’ve attempted to be accurate in my answers to help those who have asked the basic questions but for the more complicated ones they should be consulting a professional.

    But unfortunately, it seems even some of the professionals aren’t completely informed such as the case with Angie being told an FHA loan does not qualify but yet H&R Block told my brother he does, and he already received his check. Then again, I don’t have all the answers either and don’t profess to having them. I’d be surprised if even the IRS was completely aware of all the details, intricacies, and nuances of the Act but someone has to be or so one would think.

  160. #214 Angie…are you sure about that….maybe you got an FHA but used some assistance for downpayment of some sort. I got a home under FHA and my tax man says I would still get it. I’m a first time homebuyer as well. Where did you read about the exempt?

  161. WE also closed on our home 1 day before April 8, 2008 and it was a fixer upper, so we didn’t move in for 6 weeks so does it matter??

  162. I will be purchasing a home with my girlfriend over the next 60 days, so I know we are eligible for the $7500 tax credit, and it states in the instructions that “the credit my be allocated between the individual owners in any reasonable manner”. The IRS further defines “Reasonable method” on form 5405 as “any method that does not allocate all or part of the credit to a co-owner who is NOT eligible to claim that part of the credit”. So from what I am taking from this is that you can allocate the $7500 as the two people wish (with both being on the title to the house)as long as the total credit does not exceed $7500 combined and all other rules are followed. So I could take $0 and my girlfriend could take the entire $7500 or vice versa or we could split is 50/50 60/40, 70/30, etc. Please let me know if this is correct.

  163. I plan on purchasing my first home, prior to the expiration date. My question is this – how can I obtain this credit, if I have not yet closed on my home? The $7500 would really come in handy as a down payment, but my tax appointment is this Thursday. I took a look at the form in which to claim the credit, and it asks for an address and date of close. Obviously in my situation that information is not yet known.
    Has anyone qualified for this credit but has yet to close on a house? Is this at all possible?

  164. I heard about this tax credit before I even bought my house. Everything I read on it showed I would be qualified. I closed on my home in Sept. 08. I even went ahead and purchased (12 months no payment plan) new furniture with the expectation of paying it off after receiving the tax credit. Well, too bad, so sad. I just recently found out I would not be able to claim this credit. My loan was an FHA First Time Home Buyer Loan. Which did not require me to put very much money down. Apparently this type of loan is one of the loans they are talking about when they mention “Tax-Exempt Mortgage Revenue Bond” loan. I honestly had no idea. So basically you have a choice when purchasing a home….tax credit….or low down payment. You can only choose one. I just wished I knew when I bought my home. I even mentioned to my lender at the time how excited I was about the tax credit….and she didn’t mention I would not be able to take it. If someone had not informed me that this was the type of loan I had, I would have tried to take this tax credit. I just thought I had an FHA loan. I think this exclusion is going to effect many first time home buyers….and they don’t even know it. I thought about going ahead and attempting to claim the credit….but, I’m afraid that the refund I am already getting will be held up.

  165. I have read that in the new stimulus, Obama wants to make it retroactive to the begining of 08 and also to make it a true credit, meaning you don’t have to pay it back. There’s also been talk of making available to everyone who purchased a home and not just first time buyers. My issue with the whole thing is that you are not eligible if you purchased your home from a relative. I purchased my home from my parents but I went through a mortgage company so everything is legitament. If they make it so everyone who purchased a home can receive it, will that include if you purchased your home from a relative? Just wondering. If anyone can knows anything I would appreciate a response. Thank You.

  166. I am wanting to purchase a new home in the next few months but I am short some of the required 3.5% down for closing costs. Can I claim the credit on my taxes prior to the closing date and use the 7500 to complete the purchase or would I have to wait until after I can close without the tax credit?

  167. Hi. My husband purchased our home in May of 2008 (we were not yet married at the time). It was his first time purchasing a home, but my dad cosigned for him and my dad does own his own primary residence. Would my husband still qualify for the $7500? Thanks.

  168. R Hammond says:

    Sorry I have not been able to answer many of there questions as I have been busy writing to my districts representitive and my congressman concerning this issue and the span on the date.
    Brandon, it seems you may be getting fusterated and a little sarcastic in answering questions to which you have no real answer to. These hard working people are attempting to get answers online because that’s what they choose. Period.
    If you can’t be civil in your replys then please post elsewhere.

  169. Steve: If you consider a radon system to be a new construction so be it but I must have misunderstood. I thought by a new construction you meant the entire house. Either way, a website is not the place to get advice about taxes.

    Susan: They picked a Wednesday because supposedly that was the day the law was written as a bill and it just never changed. They had to pick some date. If they picked Monday people would complain who closed on a Friday. Obviously they can’t please everyone can they? Obama, being a Democrat, likes to think he can with his wishlist plan though.

  170. Do you think they will change it? I’m crossing my fingers. I would rather hold money and improve my house, even if it is a loan. However, there is rumor they will now make it non-repayable?

  171. I feel your pain Susan…April 2nd here…it SUCKS!!!

  172. I have been hoping they would change these dates. My husband and I closed on Monday April 7th, 2008, Why would they pick Wed…. WHY??

  173. So Brandon what you’re telling me is that my putting a radon system in my house constitutes construction in your mind? Because that would be splendid…not that I’m going to take your word for it, but its nice to brainstorm.

  174. Steve: I never said it doesn’t matter whether the home is a new construction. I just said it doesn’t have to be new and gave a simple example of buying a house. Your question was whether it has to be a new construction. I said it doesn’t. Read closer next time.

  175. Kris: Why don’t you talk to your accountant? That’s the reason they exist.

  176. please helppppp I cant find anything about my above situation

  177. please helppppp I cant find anything about my above situation

  178. purchased a home with my boyfriend in July 08. He has purchased another home in the past 3 yrs so he is not eligable. But for me this is my first time buying. We purchased the home for 108,000 and it is my primary residence. Can i expect to get the 7,500 or only half. Can someone help me. They have the rules set on married couple but we are not married nor looking to be. and he has another home.

  179. Is it true that they are looking to raise the tax credit to $15,000? Anyone have more info on that?

  180. Oh, and brandon you are wrong. It matters very much whether its a constructed home not. If you constructed your home you are allowed to use the move in date as the purchase date…

  181. Steve: It doesn’t have to be a new construction nor one you constructed. It just has to be your first home purchase and not have owned a home in the last 3 years (to put it simply). Having owned the home is based on when you closed on the house. As long as you closed on the house after April 9, 2008 then you qualify but talk to your accountant rather than asking people online.

  182. I closed on my house on April 2, 2008…however, there was ongoing litigation with my final purchase. A radon unit needed to be installed by June 1st, 2008 at the expense of the sellers… The radon in the house did not meet EPA standards so I needed it to be installed. I did not move into this house until June 1, 2008 and I also rented an apartment from Jan 2008 until May 31, 2008.

    I don’t see any verbiage in the law that says it has to be a NEW construction…it just says you had to have constructed your home. Would putting in a radon unit that pends a sale by awaiting contstruction be considered constructing your home? …I know i may be reaching but its worth it.

  183. Danielle: My brother already got back $10,500 a few days ago and $7500 of it was the tax credit. H&R Block just had an extra form to fill out (I forget the number of the form) and that was it other than specifying your AGI on the usual forms. No extra proof is needed with it as far as he told me. I have to wait to file mine since I don’t close on my house until Feb 13. Most people don’t know about the Act since it is new (2008) and not much discussed. You would think accountants would know about it but not many do. H&R Block is aware of it and told my brother that he was the first who applied and qualified b/c everyone who applied before him bought a home outside of the required period.

  184. My tax accountant phoned today. We closed on our FHA Loan February 28, 2008. Date of acquisition was March 31st, even though we didn’t move in until April 10th (the guy didn’t move out until then. Our accountant said that he really didn’t know a lot about the first time home buyers act, but looked into it more. Told us what we already knew. On line two of the first time home buyers form, it asks for the date of closing. So we would have to put the February date. He also has several to process that do qualify(purchasing in May of 2008). He is going to see how things go…he told us that he would hold onto our closing papers and said that maybe Obabma would change the dates and we would do an amended return later in the year.
    I wanted to know if anyone has actually received their $7500? What proof did you have to send, if any to the IRS?

  185. I purchased a home with my boyfriend in July 08. He has purchased another home in the past 3 yrs so he is not eligable. But for me this is my first time buying. We purchased the home for 108,000 and it is my primary residence. Can i expect to get the 7,500 or only half. Can someone help me. They have the rules set on married couple but we are not married nor looking to be. and he has another home.

  186. Robin: There is no cap amount on the purchase price of the home but there is a cap on the tax credit amount and a cap on your AGI which they use to determine if you even quality for the tax credit in the first place. Above $90-95K (forget which) for a single person and $180-190K if you are married means you don’t get anything. The tax credit amount is meant to be 10% of the purchase price of the home or a maximum of $7500. Most people will buy a house that costs more than $75K which is why most people talk of the $7500 amount but it could be less b/c of the purchase price of the home or due to your AGI.

    As for how they give it to you, it is included in your tax return, whether 2008 or 2009 depending on when you claim it. Things may get a little complicated if you owe taxes but I’ve never owed so I don’t worry about that. Talk to your accountant.

  187. kim but when i try to file on line i file under single and it wont split it up only if i filed married but filing seperate the computer will split it 2 ways so i dont know what to do.

  188. kim but when i try to file on line i file under single and it wont split it up on if i filed married but filing seperate thats why i ask.

  189. I am closing on my house Feb 20th….does anyone know if I can go ahead and claim the tax credit on my 2008 return and file it today??

  190. Taylor…Are u serious? Of course NOT! You each would file seperately for $3,750 each!

  191. i was curious me and my girlfriend just bought our first home this year and we are not married does that mean that we both get the 7500.00 credit each please help.

  192. hi i have been reading all the inquiries re: tax credit, however i have this question; is there a cap amt on the purchase price of a home that one is planning on buying, and also if you qualify for the credit do you get the check sent to you or does it come out of what amt of taxes you owe for the filing year.

  193. Eva: Be that as it may (Obama’s changes to the existing Act), I’d rather the “stimulus” not pass and not get the credit at all (although at worst I’d have to pay mine back [I close on a house in 2 weeks] using current rules) than for the stimulus to pass and have another $1 trillion get wasted on pet projects and programs that Democrats have on their wishlist. Obama used to use “infrastructure” as the main driving point for this stimulus plan but now infrastructure makes up less than 5% of the money in the stimulus plan. So already Obama is lying to us and just doing things the way he (and Democrats) wants to do things instead of how he promised. Republicans want more tax cuts in the plan before it passes. I hope they stand their ground if it is going to pass at all. The “stimulus” plan is really a misnomer because it is focused on the public sector (gov’t programs for Democrats) and doesn’t guarantee any jobs let alone private sector jobs. It is really just the Democrat wishlist at taxpayer expense which explains why no Republicans voted for it.

    And for clarification, the $7500 can be used for anything you want and that won’t change with anything Obama wants to give us based on what you said in your post.

  194. Brandon thanks for the information…after reading this blog I went to a few other sites to learn more about the $7,500 credit. In the new stimulus that Obaman announced and trying to pass there is much talk about not having to repay the $7,500 credit on homes purchased between Jan 1 2009 thru August 2009. There is also talk about raising the credit to $15,000. More talk about allowing for not only first time homebuyers but all to benefit from this credit and even allow for using it as part of closing cost and or downpayment. That is great for all those who want to buy homes not just for first time homebuyers. It’s still in the works but people should stay in tune with the Stimulus that Obama has in place as it goes to Senate this week.

  195. Eva: Any new news on the law changing on having to pay back the $7,500 credit? I just closed escrow on my first home 1/30/09 and wanted to know if in fact no repayment will be needed can I claim it with my 2008 taxes?

    Payback begins 2 years after the year in which you claimed the credit. Payback lasts about 15 years and the ~$500 payment is automatically deducted from subsequent tax refunds. You can claim a house bought in either 2008 or 2009 on either 2008 or 2009 taxes.

  196. Any new news on the law changing on having to pay back the $7,500 credit? I just closed escrow on my first home 1/30/09 and wanted to know if in fact no repayment will be needed can I claim it with my 2008 taxes?

  197. Mariane: what can i do if i closed on my home on march 7, 2008. who picked those dates (april thru july) that sucks i need to write a letter. who do i write too?

    You can’t do anything. The dates are April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009. That is the way the bill was written and signed into Law. It is law now so you can’t do anything. The people who picked them are the Congressmen who authored the bill. A cutoff point has to exist somewhere and they just happened to pick those dates. The April 9 date is when they first authored it and it just stuck.

  198. Mariane Jones says:

    what can i do if i closed on my home on march 7, 2008. who picked those dates (april thru july) that sucks i need to write a letter. who do i write too?

  199. KEE…

    Sounds like you are in luck! Unlike me – I, too, purchased my first home and got married in Oct. 2008, but he has owned a home. I purchased it all on my own, deed, mortgage, etc. and was banking on this credit. Now, the bill reads if you are married BOTH must be first time homebuyers.

    Anyway, if you file married, you should be able to claim the entire $7,500 (or 10% of the purchase price up to $7,500).

  200. I purchased my first home on June 27, 2008. I got married on June 30, 2008 (my spouse has never owned a home). Do I qualify for the $7500 tax credit or $3750?

  201. H. R. 214 -Regarding joint purchase : ), YES !

    To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a Federal income tax credit for certain home purchases.
    JANUARY 6, 2009


    “(1) IN GENERAL.—In the case of an individual who is a purchaser of a qualified principal residence during the taxable year, there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by this chapter an amount equal to so much of the purchase price of the residence as does not exceed $15,000…

    “(e) SPECIAL RULES.— “(1) JOINT PURCHASE.— “…(B) UNMARRIED INDIVIDUALS.—If 2 or more individuals who are not married purchase a qualified principal residence, the amount of the credit allowed under subsection (a) shall be allocated among such individuals in such manner as the Secretary may prescribe, except that the total amount of the credits allowed to all such individuals shall not exceed $15,000.

  202. I closed April 2, 2008…so stupid…

  203. I too think this is horrible. I closed on my house on April 1, 2008 as a first time home buyer, and got laid off this last week from my job. This would have been very helpful…

  204. I too think this is horrible. I closed on my house on April 1, 2008 as a first time home buyer, and got laid off this last week from my job. This would have been very helpful…

  205. The gov’t has to set a cutoff date at some point. If not April 9 2008 then what? They set the date to the day that the bill was first drafted and it never changed beyond that. The $7500 is really a loan anyway. You can get nearly the same thing by charging to your credit and then paying back as soon as you can to minimize interest charges. January 1 2008 does seem like a logical choice but that would make the bill retroactive and if you are going to do that then people who bought a house in 2007 would complain.

    Those who make over $95K (single) or $190K (married) don’t get anything even if they closed on their house within the required time period. There are stipulations with everything. You just have to deal with it.

  206. Sarah McCauley says:

    My husband and I are SOOO angry. We closed on our home on Feb 29th, 2008. So this really upsets us that we were short 40 days.. it makes no sense that we cannot get at least something. Does anyone know if there is anything for us who are royally getting screwed??? Maybe they’ll give us a break since we closed on the leap year day. Ha… wishful thinking though, right? lol

  207. From Matt (Comment 3#): Most likely a couple with a 150K income will not be looking at a $75,000 house purchase, it will be much larger. The lower income couple that are looking at the $75K house on a $35-50K income should look real close before extending into another loan.

    A $75K with a $50K income is awesome. When I moved into an apartment for my first professional job my rent was $400 and my salary was $26,500. I only had a couple hundred leftover each month. A $75K house creates a payment less than $400/mo. At a $35K salary it would definitely be doable and there is no question if your salary is $50K. There is no “extending” since rent could be much more than the house payment and the $7500 loan they qualify for with this Act is free (0% interest). Unless people rely on their tax refund money every year to live there is no reason why they shouldn’t do this.

    For anyone who wonders whether they qualify even after reading the FAQ on the Act I’d suggest talking to your accountant rather than asking people on this website.

  208. am i eligible for the credit. i found this on th federal website and was confused. What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?
    The law defines “first-time home buyer” as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. For married taxpayers, the law tests the home-ownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse. For example, if you have not owned a home in the past three years but your spouse has owned a principal residence, neither you nor your spouse qualifies for the first-time home buyer tax credit. Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer.

    ok well my husband brought a house in georgia july of 2006 but it was never his princple resident he is in the military and is still a michigan resident he brought this house soley for renting out purposes he never even lived in the house. i did but we were not married then i was his tenant thats how i meant him. We just brought a house in oct.of 2008 and this is his second home but his first princple home because he never lived in the other house and this is my first principle home are we eligible for the 7500 tax credit because according to this paragraph i didnt see a 3 year prior mark for a rental or vaction home all it says is you have had to not own a home as a princple home in the 3 years prior someone help me lol and thanks

  209. I too lost my house in a divorce last year. I’ve previously only owned a home with my former spouse. I’m planning to buy a house in the next 30 days–has anyone found any information on the first time buyer qualification for divorced buyers? Seems like most government programs provide an exception to the first time buyer rule of 3 years if you lost your home due to divorce, but I have found nothing spelled out in the actual bill providing this exception.

  210. Okay. So I’ve been reading about this credit more and more. And it really stinks that those of us who purchased before the April 2008 date do not qualify. I sure could use an interest free loan in these times. Anyway, I read on the net that Congress is considering ‘revising’ the bill and actually giving those who purchase a home from Jan. of 09 to June of 09 an actual 7500 dollar ‘credit’, not a loan. But for those in the April 08 to Dec. 08 timeline, it must be paid back.
    This Recovery Act is really getting screwed up by the minute. Just make it a credit for ‘all’ first time home buyers. Make it retroactive back to Jan. of 08 all the way to Dec. of 09 to help boost the housing economy.
    Like I said in my original post…I contacted my state representative, our senator, and I even went on Obama’s website and wrote to him (his characters are limited so you have to get to the point quickly). Hey…it never hurts to speak your mind. You never know what it could change.
    I’m filing my income taxes (getting a few thousand back because of my two kids)…hoping to do an amended return if they do decide to change the dates. I guess that is all I can do…hope (Hey…isn’t that what Obama’s campaign was based on…’hope’?) LOL

  211. Hello All,
    I am also in the same boat as many on this forum. We closed on our 1st house ever March 21st 2008, a few weeks short of said April 9th date. We need to petition our State reps to make this date retro-active to Jan 1st 2008. I usually don’t care or don’t have the time to voice my opinion on enacted tax codes or other laws but this one really hurts if we are unable to claim this incredible credit. I am sure many have already contacted his/her state rep to see if anything can be done, I too will be seeking out the best Gov’t official to press for changes. I will also be contacting Remax to see if they have any clout on this subject. Do you know that President Obama is currently seeking to make the $7500 tax credit a 1 time non refundable “Gift”? so it won’t be a loan as originally written!! My wife and I are just like everyone else who bought a home after April 9th, responsible tax paying citizens; we have every right to this credit as true 1st time buyers who qualify under all other provisions minus the arbitrary April 9th date. We tapped into a majority of our savings and used our excellent “hard earned” credit scores to buy a house in a shaky market, how can anyone say the market was any better or worse starting April 9th? My advice for all that can do this, is to wait to file your taxes until they are hopefully forced to change this to January 1st 2008.

    Good Luck to All stuck before April 9th 2008!!

  212. I have not seen an answer for a couple of the questions above that reference a recent divorce. I sold a home with my ex husband in Mar 2006 and purchased a new home in May 2008. It is unclear to me whether I would qualify due to change in status. I read on the FHA website that a single parent who has only owned with a former spouse or an individual who is a displaced homemaker and has only owned with a former spouse meet the definition for first time homebuyers. I haven’t been able to find anything that shows any exceptions to the 3 year rule for IRS definition, but I am hoping that there might be an exception to the definition they give.

  213. Has anyone heard of any changes to this as far as the qualifying date of purchase?

  214. Please clarify:
    1. I was on the deed with my ex-husband but never on the loan for our home that we lived in.
    Q: Does being on the deed only disqualify me from being a 1st time homeowner in the future?
    2. I bought our home in June 2008, my first home loan, I bought it through a lender, the seller was my ex-husband.
    Q: Since I bought the home through a lender(GMAC Mtg Co.) and my ex-husband happened to be the seller, am I to assume the “not-related” rule does NOT apply to me since I purchased it through a lender?


  215. Can someone help me please. I qualify for everything the IRS is requiring for this credit. However I did take an FHA loan? Does that matter? Also my father co-signed as a non-occupant co-borrower. Does that matter too?

  216. Sorry everyone, left out my adjusted income. It’s $5k.

  217. well… stinks since work gave us a last second bonus for christmas that pushed it a hundred dollars above the 95k cap

  218. I’m a military member that was deployed most of 2008. I only paid $1200 in federal taxes (station in the Middle East)and my adjusted income is less than $XXK. While on leave I came home and purchased my first home in September. Even though I paid little to no federal taxes, do I still qualify and will receive the tax credit? My home was purchased for over $250K. Thanks for all the help everyone.

  219. Jaylynn… Your right, your not eligible, if your single and your income is 75,000 – 95,000 you would receive a percentage of the credit. If your single and your income is over 95,000 you cannot claim the tax credit. This is to help out low income families with their first home purchase. Pres. Bush made these rules so the rich didn’t get richer!

  220. The home was purchased in July 2008 and the down payment was made from an early withdrawal from a 401k, so that early withdrawal counts as taxable income. if that withdrawn 401k and the homeowners normal income exceeds 95,000 (i heard was the cap for claiming even any partial credit) is there any way to get anything back from the 1st time homeowners credit? i know it wasnt the best idea to withdrawal rather than take a loan from the 401k, but getting slammed with penalties and then not qualifying has really caused some issues. i tried doing some research but just end up getting frustrated.

  221. Donald…I think if anybody deserves the tax credit it is YOU but according to Bush’s wacky dates you are not eligible but you should always ask your tax profesional.

  222. Beth… I filed my taxes on 1/21, I got my “regular” rapid refund the next day through HR Block on the Mastercard they offer (it’s quicker than direct deposit into my checking). I still do not have the 7,500 tax credit in hand. As a matter of fact nobody does. The IRS hasn’t issued any refunds yet, they’re not scheduled to until 1/30. I originally was told by H&R 8-13 days BUT when I initially check the IRS website the return date was 2/3 then a couple of days later it changed to 2/10. The date changed for ALOT of people from what I’ve been hearing and reading.

  223. Thu… to answer your question, each of you would claim $3,750 of the tax credit. Married couples filing seperately would do the same thing.

  224. Add me to the list of just missed the window. We closed in February 2008. If you are in this boat, contact your US Representative or Senator. MAYBE, just maybe, we can get them to listen up.

  225. Has anybody actually gotten the check in hand?? I filed my taxes last night and they basically did not even know what the process was. I was told it could take up to 15 days for the IRS to process the tax credit.

  226. My question is I purchased a home on March 31 2008, from Iraq Where I was deployed from October 3, 2007 thru April 22, 2008. I was not able to even begin to move into the house until I returned. Am I able to somehow get the tax credit? If not is there any benefits of being a first time home buyer?

  227. I have a question. I usually file separately as my husband owes back child support and his tax return is taken to fulfill his obligation. If we were to qualify for the tax credit and I file separately and we both get $3750 on our separate returns…would the government take my husband’s half to pay his child support? Should we file jointly and have me file an injured spouse paper siting that I should get the 7500 tax credit? Please advise as we want to start the home buying process…

  228. My sister and I own the house 50/50. It is my primary residence but she does not live there. Can I claim the whole tax credit. If not can she still claim it?

  229. My sister and I own the house 50/50. It is my primary residence but she does not live there. Can I claim the whole tax credit. If not can she still claim it?

  230. My sister and I own the house 50/50. It is my primary residence but she does not live there. Can I claim the whole tax credit. If not can she still claim it?

  231. So is there any final conformation on whether people are getting the money without having gone through settlement first? #115 say so. Anyone else?

  232. So is there any final conformation on whether people are getting the money without having gone through settlement first? #115 say so. Anyone else?

  233. Sara 2: I would really think that you are not eligible because in fact you acquired the home from family but nothing about buying a home from a trust is stated in Form 5405 so I would ask your tax agent. It does clearly state that you are not eligible if you acquire (inheret, buy or are gifted) your home from close family members: siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, children, grandchildren, etc.

  234. Sarah…First Time Homebuyer Credit (IRS document 5405) says
    “If you construted your main home,you are treated having purchased it on the date you first occupied it”.
    Hope that helps!

  235. My husband and I bought our house from a Trust. The beneficiaries of the trust are family members, an aunt and uncle. Does this disqualify us from this credit?

  236. This was asked earlier but I did not find an answer. What if you are buying a land contract?

  237. Tim the plumber says:


    I am no Warren Buffet, but why pay back money that doesn’t have interest? Just put the money somewhere else and make some cash but I can understand wanting no debt if you can afford it. Can anyone help with #117?


  238. I am wanting to know. I we decide to pay the money back Before the 15 years is up how do we go about it. Do I have to add it on my tax Paper work the next time i file or is it only 500.00 a year for 15 years?

  239. Here is what Obama wants to change in the stimulus package. No help to me! I purchased on April 8,2008 and I am screwed on getting the tax credit.

    “Refundable First-Time Home Buyer Credit. Last year, Congress provided taxpayers with a refundable tax credit that was equivalent to an interest-free loan equal to 10 percent of the purchase of a home (up to $7,500) by first-time home buyers. The provision applies to homes purchased on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009. Taxpayers receiving this tax credit are currently required to repay any amount received under this provision back to the government over 15 years in equal installments, or if earlier (when the home is sold). The credit phases out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income in excess of $75,000 ($150,000 in the case of a joint return). This proposal would eliminate the repayment obligation for taxpayers that purchase homes after January 1, 2009. The proposal retains the recapture provisions if the house is sold within three years of purchase. This proposal is estimated to cost $2.6 billion over ten years.”

  240. Wow – this is really frustrating. I too closed just weeks before this date. Had I known, I would have pushed our closing back by a few weeks. This is crazy! I would love to know if there is any way around this date.

  241. Nadia…One of the weird rules is: You purchase your main home AFTER April 8, 2008 and BEFORE July 1, 2009. I have no idea who to contact in Georgia.

  242. I closed on my home on April 4, 2008. Am I still eligible? If not who can I write in the state of Georgia about getting the credit?

  243. No, refinancing does not apply, sorry!

  244. I closed on my house middle of Feb. if I decide to refi later in 2009 do I qualify for the tax credit on my 2009 tax return?

  245. Has anyone actually received any of the tax credit money from the IRS yet? I filed with HR Block and got my “regular” tax refund by RAL but I am still waiting for my tax credit money which is supposed to get direct deposited onto the HR Block debit Mastercard.

  246. My husband and I bought a house in April. I am a first time buyer, he is not. I am the primary on the mortgage and we are 50/50. Can I still apply for the tax credit and if so, do I just enter that I own only 50% of the home, even though he will not be applying for this credit?

  247. Mike(#129) where did you here about that rumor? I know Oboma is trying to change it by not paying the money back but I didn’t hear anything about it starting on 1/1/2008. I missed this by one day so I am really pissed off about it.

  248. Yeah this blows i closed on Feb 29th 2008 and from what i read everywhere its a no for me as well. Anybody know who to write to?

  249. Any truth to the rumors that new legislation that just came out is taking away the requirement to pay this credit back over 15 years. it is now free money to you. the house must be purchased on or after 1/1/08. Can anybody confirm this….thanks!

  250. I know a couple of people who are getting this money and they do not have intentions on purchasing a home. What will happen if they have not purchase a home by the July 1, 2009 deadline and have taken this money?

  251. I have the same question as Gus (#119). My husband and I purchased a home prior to April 9, 2008, but because of construction that was needed to make the house livable, we were unable to move in until after that date. So, we did not occupy the home until after April 9. Are we eligible for the Tax Credit? Thanks!

  252. I too purchased my first house on April 8, 2008 and am not approved to recieve the tax credit. This is bull!! Can anyone tell me who I can write too to voice my opinion???

  253. Desselles says:

    My wife and I closed on our home on February 2008. We are first time home buyers and agreed with everyone who believe this April nonsense. Obama has been rewriting Bush mistakes. Hopefully, he will rewrite this mistake and issue us what is owed to us for being first time buyers.

  254. My question is the same as question 71. Me and my girlfriend purchased a home in December of 2008. I own another home so this will not be a first time buyers credit for me but this is her first house. We are both on the mortgage of the new home. Can she claim the first time buyers credit for herself. Since she has not owned a home prior to this and we are not married? If so does she only get half of the $7500 or the whole amount.

  255. Add me to list of those who were not eligible by weeks. The only suggestion I can make to others is to write your Federal Representatives. There have been suggested changes to this tax credit with Obama’s stimulus bill. I am not holding my breath, but maybe something will change.

    Also, I called the IRS, and they said refinances are not eligible.

  256. This is somewhat of a repeat question, I believe… but here goes!

    I accepted a sales contract on a home, applied (and approved for a loan), while waiting on the closing date (dumb me) got married. He owes his own home, while this is my first purchase. I am the only one on the mortgage (applied for it anyway) AND the only one on the deed (since all the paperwork started way before the marriage).

    Can I get the full $7,500? Escpecially if I can prove I pay the entire mortgage (am the responsible party for EVERYTHING)?


  257. My husband and I definitely qualify for this loan. My only question is do we physically have to write the Gov. a check each year for 15 years or does this somehow come “off” our taxes? Thanks for your help!

  258. Have there been any new articles on this bill? Specifically on the retroactive issue for those who purchased in January-March 2008? Add me to the list of those who purchased in 2008 but before April. Those 3 months did not make or break the housing market. It was horrible before, after and still today. It would be an easy fix for them to make.

  259. ok, i closed on april 5, 2008 but we were unable to move in until april20 because of the work that was needed on the house to me livable. does this count as “construction” or am i SOL?
    Thank you.

  260. Technically it is an interest-free loan, but it’s still a means to help young and first-time homebuyers take advantage of today’s low interest rates and achieve home ownership now, in a market when it’s tough to qualify for credit. Certainly better than having to throw money away on rent for the next fifteen years.

  261. Tim Hennessey says:


    I have complicated one here, it has three parts. I just bought my first home on 1/23/09. It is a two unit apartment building. I plan to live in one and rent the other. Question one, do I only qualify for half of the $7,500? #2, my father is on the title with me, he is not a first time buyer, does that eliminate me or make me eligible for half? Finally, is there a way to get this money prior to filling my 2009 taxes? I would like to get the money as soon as possible. THANKS FOR ANY HELP!!!!!!!


  262. Jim Dougan says:

    I put the wrong date down for the house we bought. My wife and I bought a house in 2004 and we are still paying on it so we don’t “own” it as we are still making payments on it. We are wanting to build a new house in March so will we still get the $7,500 credit since it hasn’t been paid off in the past 3 years or doesn’t that matter.

  263. Okay. I got the whole “buying from a relative” disqualifies a 1st time home buyer from this credit. What if we filed as married filing seperatly? Since i’m not actually “blood” related, couldn’t I claim half the credit and not my husband (since he is the one related)? There’s nothing in the IRS website stating I can’t do this.
    Just curious?!

  264. Re #78: Hello Shaun. I apologize for the delay in responding to your latest inquiry. I have gotten swamped here in my tax business. It appears that many questions are added each and every day on this site. I would like to respond to them, but I simply do not have the time.

    To Shaun on Question #78, I am not certain what your question is, however the following information may help. It is stated relevant to the First Time Home Buyers Credit that:

    1.) “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.”

    2.) Re: Does the credit have to be paid back to the government?

    ” If the home owner sold the home (“sold” meaning “settlement date”), then the remaining credit amount would be due from the profit on the home sale. If there was insufficient profit, then the remaining credit payback would be forgiven”

    The keyword above is “forgiven”.

    I understand that these clauses may be somewhat vague in its wording, but hopefully it helps to answer your question. The above does not specifically state when and how the “credit” must be repaid to the government in the event one sold their residence shortly after one purchased a residence on which was claimed the $7,500 credit (loan).

    It would appear to be a “wash” to me, however, if one took an immediate loss on the sale of a property, based on this information, one may keep the $7,500 which in essence would be forgiven. To me, that could be construed as a loophole and a possible way to make a quick buck.

    For additional information, please visit and search for First Time Home Buyer Credit.

    Good luck,


  265. R Hammond says:

    Jim, she may not qualify if she claimed the previous home as a primary residence on her 2007 return. If this is the case you would only be able to claim the credit by filing your 2008 married and seperate. Consult your tax professional for the final answer though

  266. Jim Dougan says:

    My wife and I are living in a house she bought in 2007. She is still making monthly payments and we are buying another house in Feb. This will be my first home. Will we get the credit?

  267. Jim Dugon says:

    My wife bought a house in 2007 and is still paying on that house. We are buying a new house in Feb. Will I get the $7,500 credit since she is still paying on her home and I haven’t owned a home? She doesn’t own the house as she is still paying monthly mortgage payments, but does that count as owning a home? Can someone let me know.

  268. R Hammond says:

    Angela, the credit is given on new home constructio once the home can be occupied.
    Jamie, I believe he is incorrect as taxes can go back 3 years but the stipulations of this credit are for a specific period of time. I too wish he was right.
    Ben, no, refi’s don’t count.
    Matt, yes as long as you did not live ther in the condo it was not your primary residence you can claim the credit.

  269. My dad bought a condo (loan in his name) in 2006. He put his name and mine on the title. I have now just bought my first home (loan in my name). Am I still eligible for the credit since this is technically my first home?

  270. We close on our home (VA Loan)on April 7th of 2008, we refinanced our home on Dec 23 of 2008. Do we qualify for this credit?

  271. We bought our house in May/June of 2007. My tax fellow said that we could qualify as long as we had bought it within three years. Is he correct?

  272. Also, can the credit be used to payoff land purchased to build a house on? Then build in a few months?

  273. I totally understand but I’ve been told that the question asked, when filing taxes is: Do you plan to purchase a home by july 31, 2009? If you check yes, then the credit is given. This is from one friend who uses turbotax to file their own taxes. I haven’t seen this for myself. If that is so than that trumps the need to have already purchased a house. RIGHT?

  274. The credit is only given after a home is bought. Filing for the credit before the purchase would be fraudulant and I think the IRS frowns on that.

  275. I’m listening to many of my friends talk about this LOAN and they are anxious to receive it. I am almost sure that several of them have no intent to purchase a house, they just want the money. What happens to those who qualify for the credit and don’t follow through with actually purchasing a house by the final date?

  276. R Hammond says:

    So many questions and so few answers. I am sure Doug is very busy with tax season and that is why he has not responded to the multitude of questions on this thread. Bless you Doug for the help you were able to give. I will attempt to answer a few question but I am doing this from a mobile phone as I travel accross the country so bare with me. I will have simple answers to answer you querys but I am not a tax prossional. And have only read the portion of H.R.3221 that deals with this topic. Please see your Tax Professional for their educated answers. You may also read H.R.3221 by following the link in post 17 of this thread.

  277. I am sick of this. I purchased my home at least 1 week before the date of April 8th! All I can say is that BUSH is a jackass.. Why would you pick such an ODD DATE! Why not say…January 1, 2009-whatever… I am so glad we have a new President~ Perhaps he can see the UNFAIRNESS in this bullcrap and allow the one’s who missed the APRIL 8th date claim it on our next year’s taxes or get a check in the mail. This Housing thing sucks! Totally Unfair!

  278. i bought a condo as a first time home buyer, but my parents are on the deed with my name, do i still receive the credit?

  279. My son is a first time home buyer. He bought a condo last year, within the time frame, BUT, my husband & I, NOT first time homebuyers, are on the deed. Can my son take the credit and if so, how much?

  280. My husband and I closed on our house April 2nd 2008!! It sickens me to know that we missed out on this tax credit. Is there anyway to fight this. We were just one week away from April 9th. How is this fair???

  281. i bought a house in 2001 , filed bankruptcy on that home in 2004 when i was laid off from my job. i just bought a home in sep 2008 , will iqualify for the 7500.00 refund ?

  282. Logan Mueller says:

    This website made by the National Association of home builders will help most of these questions.

  283. my married friends bought their home in spring of 2006. they decided to refinance and have asked me to be a co-borrower on their new loan. i have never owned a home and this would be my first home. do i qualify for the tax credit?

  284. Ok my question is how is it really a great idea to do this tax deducation if they are going to set the dates mid year 2008. My husband and I bought our house in the third week in Dec of 2007 as first time home buyers and havent been able to claim our house yet on our taxes this will be our first year. So why is it fair to not give this tax deducation to all first time home buyers. I guess I just wish there would be a way to still quailfy!

  285. Im not sure of my purchase date for my home can I use the county assesor’s records?

  286. I’m trying to get info before I file my return to see if i’m eligible for this credit. My wife and i purchased our first home. It was a new construction home, we closed on March 26, 2008, but we unable to occupy the dwelling until April 12, 2008, as the builder was finishing the construction.. The form is not clear on if we qualify since there seems unclear on which date we should use, the closing date as opposed to date home was occupied. and if i did file using our occupied date, what would happen if the IRS decides our closing date is the date we should have used, making us ineligible?

  287. Its either spouse or Blood. If spouse of course is not on the loan

  288. I have a question regarding the “purchase from a relative” disqualification:

    If I purchase a home from my Mother-in-Law and I am the only buyer/borrower on the purchase (husband is not on loan), am I still disqualified? My husband and I file our taxes jointly. Would it help with this qualification issue if we filed separately?

    I understand they made this rule to avoid possible fraud and I understand their concern. I’m actually buying the house from her at FMV so that’s why I hate that this could be the only reason I don’t qualify for the credit…

    Please let me know if you have any information that could help me with this question.


  289. It’s real simple, Read this.
    where it shows “who cannot claim the credit” Cannot claim it.

  290. Number 87

    Yes you can file it for 08. The previous comments have confirmed this along with the faqs on the official site. I’d still like my question answered in regards to getting the full $7500.

  291. I purchased my first house…signed papers on 1/9/09. Can I file for the tax credit with my 08 taxes or do I have to wait until 09???

  292. Since the money can’t be used as a down payment because it’s not upfront money, we were thinking about having a family member give us the money and then we’d pay them back with the credit. My question is: do we get the $7500 no matter what as long as it’s a minimum of %10 of the home? I don’t want to get the money from the family and then they only give us an extra $2000 for whatever reason. Since it’s a tax credit, what if you don’t owe $7500? I’m not sure if this will be the case I’m just curious.

  293. Seriously!?? I can not believe that I do not qualify for the tax credit. They should have passed the law for all of 2008. I closed on March 31. Any idea on whether fighting it will make a difference at this point?

  294. My husband and I got a divorce in January 2008…I was never on the mortgage on the home we lived in, he kept the house and on April 19 I bought my first home. Do I qualify for the credit? I’m confused as to whether I am considered a first time homebuyer….I never “bought” a home until April, so I assume I do qualify..Please let me know..Thanks

  295. I closed on my first home on april 4TH, 2008. I was not aware of this tax credit until yesterday. I was so thankful to be purchasing a nice home for me and my children. I’m schelduled to refinance at 5%, on 1-13-09. Will I be eligible for the tax credit, even though my initial closing date was on 4-4-08. Thanks

  296. My husband and I just purchased our first home last year. We closed August 9, and then got married on september 9th. He is military and was in Iraq from May of 07 until July last year.

    I have a few questions actually…

    1. about this housing tax credit. We are supposed to be getting money back from the IRS even without filing for the credit. If we file for the credit…is 7500 dollars the most we’ll get? or will we get the money we SHOULD be getting back on top of the 7500 tax credit. I mean, since it has to be paid back, you wouldnt think it’s fair that they keep the money that you have earned back in the first place.

    2. since we just got married and the tax scene is ever changing….are there any tax breaks or tax credits for newly married couples? or is that a state thing?

    I had another valid question…but i forgot it lol. And I guess I’ll ask it when it comes to me.


  297. I am building a house and will occupy prior to the June 30th date. Think I’ll be able to get away with filing for the credit even though I have occupied the house yet? I will be occupying it before the 30th so I don’t see a reason why it should be an issue to file it with my tax return now instead of waiting. Also, then I wouldnt have to file an amended tax return since it will be after April when I occupy. Any thoughts? (btw it looks like it asks for the date first – which might red flag if you put a date after the date the return is filed) I have a GC that is doing everything. If such is the case, can I claim the date that I go to settlement or do I still have to use the date first occupied. The law states you can use the settlement date if you are buying from a GC which technically I’m not doing. (Stuff is a little ambiguous with this law. I’m simply trying to take advantage of it as soon as possible).

  298. Kristina,

    It looks like you can still claim it, you just need to check “Box C” on the form.

    Here is the form for the tax credit:

  299. im planning on closing on my home in Feb 09. i was told i would beable to get the tax credit and the home builder made it sound like i would get it when i filled by taxes this year. i spoke with one of my friends about it and she brought up a good point, since it is past dec 31st 2008 will i have to wait until 2010 to apply for the tax credit?

  300. Doug, If I gave away title on my property, in some stated they call this selling “subject to existing finance”, Will I maintain my tax benifit(loan) if I qualified when I purchased the home? OR at that time would I have to pay the loan back?

  301. Eric, line item 69 on Form 1040 is where I think you are to put the Credit. It also states to attach Form 5405: First-Time Homebuyer Credit worksheet. Both of these forms are available for viewing on the IRS Web site. I found the line item number in the 1040 Instruction Manual. I have a draft copy of the 5405 that I downloaded from the IRS website as well that is dated 09/30/2008.

  302. Are these credit deductions already in print for 2008 tax returns & if so…where on the 1040 will we find it?

  303. Couple of questions…
    1. Do I qualify if the mortgage on my first home is an FHA loan?
    2. Is this $7500 claimed as income when filing taxes in 2009?


  304. As yet another who was “gypped” of eligibility by having purchased too soon (what a difference a day makes, indeed!), I would happily participate in the “revolt” suggested by dougstax [61, responding to 58]…. Who will lead it?! [‘Cause I would follow!!]

  305. I read that you’re not eligible for the credit if you bought your home from a close relative. Is that true? I bought my house from my parents. Does that mean I’m not eligible. That doesn’t make sense to me. Can someone please explain. Thanks.

  306. Hi, i am wondering does this work with contract for deed? any help would be great.

  307. We have purchased a house back in November and I am a first time home buyer but my partner whom I bought the house with, it is not a first time home buyer or owned his other home for less then 3 years( owned it for over 4 years). Can i claim to be a first time homebuyer for half of the property or how does that work?

    Thank you for your help,

  308. Taylor,
    No you both will not get the $7500. When applying for the loan you and your girlfriend will be one home buyer, therefore both of you are looked at as one person. So, you will have to split the $7500.

    Yes you can get the $7500, but it would be between you and your father if he wanted to split it with you or not. If not then you keep all $7500.

  309. i baught a condo in spetember 08 my dad co borroweed as a co borrower. can i get the loan?

  310. Well the Nehemiah is just a non profit organization. The goverment does not pay anything for it. The seller pays Nehemiah, then Nehemiah gifts me the money. I would say that Fha is more of a revenue bond then Nehemiah. I would really like to know if the bill indacates any sorts of rectrictions?

  311. Ok I read on a site that the tax credit can not be clamied if you financed the purchase of the home under a motgage revenue bond program. I’m sorry I don’t understand the meaning of this. Is an FHA loan the same? I’m terribly confused.

  312. Did you read the updated IRS First-Time Homebuyer FAQ, updated Dec 23rd, 2008? The window for buying a home has either changed, or there is a major typo on the site.,,id=187935,00.html

    Direct Quote:

    Q: When would I have had to buy a new home?

    A: Only purchases of a main home located in the United States qualify, and the home must have been purchased after April 8, 2008, and before July 1, 2008. For home you construct, the purchase date is the date you first occupy the home.

    See for yourself..under the new stipulation, you have only an 85-day window in which to claim this credit. I bought my condo (on July 30th, 2008) under the assumption that I would be getting the credit. I really hope it’s a typo…

  313. So, I just want to make sure im reading this right. My wife and I did the nehemiah program (down payment assi.)and bought in aug 21st 08
    we should still get the 7500 0 interest loan?

  314. My wife and I purchased our home in July 2007 as first time home buyers. We refinanced in August 2008 with an FHA loan, could we possibly qualify for the loan. Thanks

  315. I am still a little unclear on a question that has been previously asked. My wife has never purchased a home, I purchased one before we were married, we currently live in this home but her name is no where on it. If she purchases a home in her name, will she be able to file for the tax credit? Or because we are married and I have owned a home before, does that negate any credit that we can take?

  316. To Number 57 – You are still eligible for the Tax Credit;

    To Number 58 – Any hope for this credit is virtually nil. Sorry.
    Only Congress can provide you with any hope for this Tax Credit in the form of expeditious legislation, which would change the effective date retroactively. Again, that would be highly unlikely unless there is a “revolt” by the taxpayers who were “gypped” out of this credit, so any hope is slim;

    Number 59 is a good point and should be considered before one decides to claim this First Time Home Buyers Credit.

  317. I am married but filing a separate return. My husband (a homeowner within the past three years before we were married) and I are buying a house: however, it will my name only on the mortgage. I contacted the IRS to see if I was still eligible for this tax credit and the woman I spoke to told me yes. I have to say though that I was not entirely confident with her answer (she sounded like she was reading as opposed to telling me answers based off her own knowledge). Anybody agree with this answer?

  318. Understanding the $7500 tax credit for first time home buyers
    An in debth look at what your NOT hearing about the new tax credit for home buyers

    Date Released: 09/11/2008
    The $7,500 tax credit for first time homebuyers was signed into law as part of the 2008 American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Act. To qualify for this tax credit, you must close on your new house between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009.
    Now this sounds like a great incentive to help stimulate home buyers into jumping into the real estate market and helping to dry up some of this excess housing we are floating in. I see this tax credit being plastered all over mortgage broker and home builders marketing materials. There are some very important aspects of this “tax credit” that is not being disclosed to buyers. If you don’t do some homework on your own you may be in for a big surprise when you find out it’s not so much a tax credit as it is an interest free loan that must be PAID BACK!

    Now before we get into how this payback is structured, let’s first see how much you qualify for. That’s right the law says you can qualify for “up to” $7,500, but that is not necessarily how much you will get. Here is a breakdown of how it works:

    The “first-time home buyer credit” is a temporary refundable, repayable tax credit equal to 10% of the purchase price of a home, up to $7,500 for singles and married couples filing jointly. (Singles who buy a house together get only $3,750 each, as do married couples filing their tax returns separately.)

    The income limit is $75,000 for a single and $150,000 for joint borrowers. If your income is above those limits there is a convoluted formula that can be used to determine the diminished amount of tax credit you will qualify for. Confused? Here’s an example…

    Just as an example, assume that a married couple has a modified adjusted gross income of $160,000. The applicable phase-out to qualify for the tax credit is $150,000, and the couple is $10,000 over this amount. Dividing $10,000 by $20,000 yields 0.5. When you subtract 0.5 from 1.0, the result is 0.5. To determine the amount of the partial first-time home buyer tax credit that is available to this couple, multiply $7,500 by 0.5. The result is $3,750.

    Now lets learn about how you repay this government loan (oops… we meant tax credit)

    Home buyers will be required to repay the credit to the government, without interest, over 15 years or when they sell the house, if there is sufficient capital gain from the sale. For example, a home buyer claiming a $7,500 credit would repay the credit at $500 per year. The home owner does not have to begin making repayments on the credit until two years after the credit is claimed. So if the tax credit is claimed on the 2008 tax return, a $500 payment is not due until the 2010 tax return is filed. If the home owner sold the home, then the remaining credit amount would be due from the profit on the home sale. If there was insufficient profit, then the remaining credit payback would be forgiven.

    So be prepared that two years after you claim your “tax credit” you will begin repaying the loan back annually at $500 per year until the loan is repaid or you sell that home.

    This is some of the detailed information that you should be aware of prior to claiming your tax credit. We are not suggesting anyone NOT claim the credit merely that you be aware so you are not shocked in two years time when the Gov. begins requesting their money back. Hey… it’s still an interest free loan! Oops, we meant tax credit :)

  319. I am married but will be filling my taxes as “married but separate.” My husband owned a house before we were married and it was within the last three years. My husband will not be on the mortgage (FHA)- it will be my name only. I contacted the IRS to ask them if under these circumstances I would still qualify for the loan. The woman told me yes becuase I would be the only one on the mortgage and I am filing separately. I would like to say that I trust her answer but she sounded a little…confused when I was talking to her and she sounded more like she was reading from something as opposed to providing me with the knowledge she had. Does anybody else know the answer to this?

  320. I closed on my house April 7th.. Is there any hope for me at all to get this credit?

  321. We bought our home Nov 7 2008 and because of the market at the time our interest rate raised considerably (7.5 %) from what was originally quoted on our good faith estimate. We have a VA loan and are refinancing to get a more favorable rate (5.0%). Is this going to affect our eligibility to get the tax credit? The closing date for the refinance isn’t suppose to be until Feb 15 2009.

  322. For # 50 – I fully agree with you that this new First Time Homebuyers Credit would be unfair simply due to the time limitations inherent in the law. Even if you purchased a home on April 8th, 2008, you would not legally be permitted to claim the credit, even though you missed the effective date by less than twenty four hours. Without having any forethought about impending legislation, that single day would make a difference of $7,500 in a refund for that particular homebuyer. Then again, most laws within the IRS Code are unfair.

    To # 51 – You would be permitted to claim the First Time Homebuyers Credit by using Form 5405. The mortgage interest would be itemized on Schedule A. I cannot vouch, however, for the legitimacy of your partner claiming the entire mortgage interest deduction since you stated that you share in the mortgage expenses.

    To # 52 – That question is difficult to answer due to the varying policies of the various financial institutions and mortgage companies. Also, different “types” of loans, i.e., FHA, VA, etc., may have different policies with regards to the First Time Homebuyers Credit. Regarding the actual First Time Homebuyers Credit, that credit of $7,500.00 would come directly to you, the taxpayer, either via check or direct deposit, dependent on which option you choose. I am unaware of the reasoning behind a mortgage company dictating how you would spend your own money. The only possible exception may be if there is a specific clause in your Mortgage Agreement/Contract, which states that you must submit that $7,500.00 to the mortgage company upon receipt or you would be considered in violation of he Mortgage Contract. I am unsure of the legality of what your mortgage company is requesting, and I am unaware of any VA rules indicating that you must turn over that money to the mortgage company. I’m sorry I can’t advise you any further.

    Answers to #’s 53 and 54 are “No” and “Yes” respectively.

    Disclaimer: Please note that the above advice is not to be construed as certifiable and is merely my opinion based on years of being a Tax Accountant. With the continual change in the IRS Tax Code, it may be difficult to specifically address each and every issue with a precise answer, inasmuch as circumstances may be substantially different in each individual case. Moreover, constant changes in IRS Law may render any opinions obsolete at any time.

  323. Do I still qualify for the credit if my mortgage is an FHA loan?

  324. Does anyone have any idea if refinancing a “first home” in 2008 in the date range specified will be allowed to claim the credit?? It would be awful nice if the Government allowed that….Thanks!!

  325. We are closing on our first home next week and we are going through a mortgage company with VA financing. Our insurance agent sent the bill to the mortgage broker and I thought we would be paying it at closing but he told my husband the $7500 tax credit would be covering any expenses we had at closing. How is that possible? Also, he said we weren’t allowed to keep the money for personal use under VA rules. He said after it’s used to pay any monies owed at closing, the balance (if any) of the credit will be applied to the principal. Does this sound right? Thanks

  326. I am wondering if I will qualify. My divorce was final in June 2005. In the divorce, my ex-husband got the house. It was no longer my primary residence obviously, but my name was still on the loan until he refinanced in his name only. So my question is, if it is 3 yrs. since 2008 when he was awarded all interest in the house I will qualify. If it is 3 yrs. since my name was removed from the mortgage, then I will not? What do I do? I feel since I rented for 3 yrs. I should qualify. I just bought a house in September of 08 and would love this credit. Any help would be appreciated!

  327. My partner makes over $80,000 and I make less than $70,000. Does anyone know if I can file for the credit so we get the full $7,500 even if my partner claims the mortgage interest and other expenses on his taxes (he writes the monthly check to the bank but I contribute 50%)?

  328. I find this a little unfair. I lost my job in May of this year and can’t find anybody who’s hiring. Unemployment insurance is running out next week. I closed on my house at the beginning of 2007. It’s my first house. I made my purchase in a better market without having any financial problems at the time and now that I’ve fallen on hard times I find out the government is ‘easing the mortgage crisis’ by helping those who purchased houses knowing full well that the economy is currently bad. Buying a house in a bad economy is an irresponsible investment, so why do they get help while I’m left stranded? Somebody who can’t afford a house due to bad economic times can, knowing ahead of time they will qualify for a no interest $7,500 loan, can go irresponsibly go buy a house tomorrow and collect some free government money, meanwhile I’ll be dealing with a foreclosure and deciding whether to buy food or heat next month.

  329. Shaun: With reference to your inquiry, No. 1 would qualify for the 10% or $7,500.00 First Time Home Buyer Credit, whichever is less, however, the amount of the credit would be based on the settlement price, and the Title or Deed must be transferred to the First Time Home Buyer’s name on or before June 30, 2009.

    No. 2 would depend on whether or not the Title or Deed is transferred into the First Time Home Buyer’s name. If it remains in the name of the “Seller”, you would not qualify unless the property is transferred no later than June 30th. No. 3 is most likely a “no” – unless transferred before July 1st, but that would defeat the purpose of the Lease Option contract.

    To No. 45 above – the answer is “Yes”. “The law allows taxpayers to choose to treat qualified home purchases in 2009 as if the purchase occurred on December 31, 2008.” That quote is direct from the book. How this would be done in the event you purchased the home after you had already filed your 2008 tax return, I would imagine that you would “Amend” your 2008 taxes using Form 1040X, and add the First Time Home Buyer Credit on the amended tax return. However, I doubt that you may efile the amended return and you would have to wait six to eight weeks to receive that $7,500 credit, or whatever amount you would qualify for. I am uncertain about that, but that’s how I would handle it with my clients unless I find instructions stating otherwise. Possibly the IRS could come up with a way to expedite a refund in this manner, but I am unaware of such a proposal as of this date.

    To No. 46 – That’s a good question. Disclaimer – I cannot guarantee absolute accuracy on my answer. My answer would be “yes” for you, based on 50% of the settlement price of the two unit property (if they are combined into one sale). That would apply if the units are similar in nature. If they are dissimilar by a substantial degree, you would most likely have to determine a percentage based on square footage, and use that percentage for the residential part of your property. The other individual would not qualify. Also, you would only qualify for $3,750.00 or 50% of your share of the property, whichever is less. That is the same allowance as if a married couple, filing separately, would receive.

    However, I did read that if a married couple purchased a home together, and one of the spouses had owned a residence in the three year period prior to the new purchase, that would disqualify both spouses for this particular credit. Therefore, the disclaimer. If I can find a definitive answer, I’ll let you know.

    Hopefully this has been helpful.

    No. 3 would be no.

  330. $7500 is not up-front money that the home buyer can use as down payment, closing cost or paydown PMI. therefore it would not help a lot of rentars who would like to buy a house. on the other hand it may help somebody who was going to buy a house anyway.

  331. Doug, Following up with #39, I was wondering if you purchase a home and are (1)seller financed (no mortgage with a bank) or private money can you still qualify? (2)What if you have a deal and just take over payments on a house? or (3) what about if you enter into a Lease option contract on a house?

    Thank you

  332. I am buying a building that has two units, does that matter? I will be living in one. Also, there will be two people on the title, the other is not my spouse or a first time buyer himself. Does that still allow me to qualify?


  333. I am purchasing my home in Jan. ’09’ can I file my tax credit on my ’08’ tax return or do I have to wait until my ’09’ tax return.

  334. To Amanda, if you do qualify for the First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit, based on your hypothetical depiction, your refund would be $10,000 when you file your 2008 income tax return early next year. Hopefully, the new Form 5405 will be ready for use in the early part of the 2009 tax season. My concern is that when the IRS generates new forms, heretofore unique, there frequently exists some problems in the utilization and transmission of these new forms. Please check with your software company and/or tax adviser for the first day when the Form 5405 may be transmitted electronically, provided that you would be efiling. It is highly recommended, particularly for refunds exceeding $4,000 to $5,000, to electronically file your tax return with the Direct Deposit option. There are numerous reasons for that advice. Please do not forget about the “disclaimer” that this credit must be paid back in the future, unless you qualify for some of the highly restrictive exceptions. Hopefully this information will have been of some help for you.

  335. Amanda Cummings says:

    Ok I’ve asked about the down payment assistance program, one more question I need help with. If I was getting a refund on my return this year, is the refund maximized to 7500.00 or do I get my normal refund plus 7500.00? For example, I am getting a refund of 2500.00. Will I get 7500 plus the 2500?


  337. There is a new IRS Form 5405 entitled “First-time Homebuyer Credit” which would be required for attachment to your tax return. It appears that one must file the 1040 (Long Form) to qualify for this credit. If one typically uses the 1040EZ or 1040A Forms, simply use the 1040 Form in lieu of the above and attach the new 2008 Form 5405 with your return.
    Regarding the down payment assistance program, my answer would be “yes”, you are eligible based on the information you provided.

  338. Amanda Cummings says:

    My husband and I closed on our first home August 29,2008. Our loan was through FHA, and we used the down payment assistance program to help with our downpayment. Are we still eligible for the 7500 tax credit? I’ve heard both ways on this so I am not sure.

  339. My answer would be Yes to #38. As long as the Settlement is recorded in the Recorder of Deeds in your local jurisdiction, and the home is in your name. However, you may not qualify if the Seller is a close relative, i.e., parent, grandparent, child, etc. Additionally, the settlement date must be on or before June 30, 2009 to qualify (unless Congress extends that deadline in further legislation).

  340. Hey there,

    We are first time home buyers and The owner of the house is going to finance the home for us for 30 yrs at a rate of 7% will we qualify for the for the tax credit. Just to recap here goes private mortgage that will be recorded from a private seller wil be qualify?

    Thanks Gabriela

  341. With reference to the “three year rule”, that would include all of the individuals who are deeded to recently purchased residence. In other words, if a couple recently got married, and one of the spouses owned a property within that three year window, “both” buyers are disqualified from the Home Buyer Tax Credit. This also applies to non-married couples or any other relationships, i.e., parent and adult child, brother and sister, etc. In this event, it may be more beneficial to deed the home solely to the individual who had not owned a property within the previous three years for the purpose of legally qualifying for the $7,500.00 credit. Also, I am rather certain that investment properties do not qualify for this particular credit, and I am unaware of any other potential credits other than possibly the “Low Income Housing Tax Credit”.
    Moreover, in the “fine print”, regarding the “First time buyer” of a residence under this new tax law, the exchange of real estate may not be from a close relative, such as parent, child, grandparent, etc. I would imagine that this clause was included so that homeowners simply don’t transfer their residence into the names of their child, or their parent, whichever applies, at a lower than fair market value just for the purpose of acquiring the $7,500.00 credit. That would be counter-productive for the purpose of this legislation. Although I believe that this is an excellent piece of legislation, there is great potential for fraud, and I am not certain if that potential was foreseen by the Legislators in the rather quick passage of this Bill. The above statement is simply my opinion.
    Finally, with reference to the April 9, 2008 and June 30, 2009 “window” to qualify for this credit, I am rather certain that the effective date of purchase is the “Settlement Date”. So if you were to purchase a residence in 2009, you must “settle” on or before June 30th of that year. I believe that if you settle on July 1st, 2009, you lose the credit (unless, of course, if the Legislators extend this law).
    Kudos to all of the First Time Home Buyers who qualify for this credit.


  342. Paul,
    I do believe your broker is wrong. I have read the Tax Credit portion of the bill in its entirety and it simply states that to qualify you must be a “first time home buyer”. The exception to the rule is that you cannot have owned your primary residence 3 years prior to the closing date when buying a new home.
    I feel your pain.

  343. As many of you, I too purchased my first home 19 days too early. This date (April 9, 2008) aside, I qualify for the credit…very irritating! But why is it that you don’t REALLY have to technically be a “first time home buyer”? They can look past the fact that someone owned a home say 4 years ago, but they can’t budge on the April 9th date?

  344. We are re-financing through FHA “under this new legislation” and our Broker is claiming we can take the Tax Credit for this re-fi. I also have an investment property that is being re-fied as well. He (Broker) claims we can take the credit for that as well! I thought this sounded fishy and am trying to find anything that supports his claims. It certainly doesn’t sound like it fits under this program. Does anyone know of any other programs under which his claims may be supported?

  345. For Question # 32: Regarding your claim that you can file for the tax credit as soon as you purchase your new home, how can you file for that credit since the tax forms for the 2008 Tax Year are not finalized yet, and taxes may only be filed after that particular calendar year has expired. Therefore, to file for a credit on the 2008 Tax Return, the first date available to file a 2008 tax return via mail is January 2, 2009, and January 16, 2009 to file electronically. If you are aware of a “fast-track” method of acquiring that tax credit, please let us know how we can go about it.

    I’m sure many home buyers could use that $7,500.00 right away, and desire not to wait until the first checks or direct deposits are submitted by the IRS on January 28th or later in the year 2009. However, I believe that it may be possible that if you purchased your first home before July 1, 2009, and qualify for the tax credit in that year, maybe one could file an amended tax form called 1040X for the previous tax year, which would be 2008, and submit a claim for an immediate $7,500.00 credit in that respect after the purchase of one’s home. This would effectively be a retroactive credit which was available in 2008, but that opinion of mine is not engraved in stone. At this point, the law is relatively new, and there are obviously some loopholes within this law which actually could be conducive to fraudulent returns being filed since the IRS is not requiring actual documentation that one did in fact purchase a new home. I am unsure about some of these new laws regarding this credit and I am still conducting research on this matter. By the way, I am a Tax Accountant and I have “bookmarked” this website to check various opinions from time to time. Congratulations to everyone who qualifies for this excellent piece of legislation, which I personally believe is some of the best legislation that Congress had to offer for the common people (those that earn $150,000 or less annually) in many years.


  346. I just went out this weekend looking at new homes. The one person I talked to told me about the tax credit. From what I know You can file as soon as the house is bought to get that money asap. Then you can pay off CC’s or loans or anything. You don’t have to wait to file your taxes. I also found out that in Fort Collins, CO they give first time home buyers $10,000 grant that you don’t have to pay back.

  347. My boyfriend and I just bought a house in May. Our incomes together are not over 75,000. Are we eligible for the intire amount? If not, how do I find out how much of the tax credit we are eligible for??

  348. Allan, the credit is post process. Meaning only after you close on the home can you file for the credit. Perhaps after you receive your tax refund (with the credit) you could refinance and use the money as a down payment to lower your monthly payment.

  349. Can the credit be used for downpayment?

  350. do i qualify for the tax credit if i am going through IHA for my loan?

  351. a variation on tina’s (#20) question. my girlfriend and i just bought a home together. it’s my first home, she currently owns another home. do i still qualify for the full credit? judging by other comments i think yes but does anyone know definitively?

  352. I am right with R. Hammond. I bought my house 19 days too early. I had never even heard about this until my coworker mentioned it last month because he is buying his first house. If I had known back then, I would have waited a little longer. And to answer Stacy – does anyone need another loan right now? YES!! An interest free loan. You have so many options with this money. Pay off bills so you are not overburdened with debt. Put more money down on your mortgage. Or put it away in some sort of saving or CD and earn interest on it for 15 years. I see no issues with any of these options. I wish it was an option for me.

  353. R. Hammond says:

    Sure do. I could use it to help build equity in my new home including making an extra payment towards the princable of my 30 yr loan. Would I miss the $500 a year from my tax return??? Sure, but I would just have to go without buying a new man toy every spring till things got better. I could do so many things with $7500 but thanks to Nancy I don’t qualify in 2008 because I bought my home 10 days to earily. Hell I would have waited 10 day to close had I known H.R. 3221 was going to pass.

  354. i was told about this . but noone said it was actually a loan. interest free or not does any body need another loan right now

  355. In my review of the bill I didn’t see any stipulation thats would prevent you from getting the credit. Are you going FHA? If so prepare to have 3.5% as they have just changed the minimum down payment to such.

  356. I am going through the MHDC program which is assisting me with my 3% down payment, is there anyway that I can be eligible for this tax credit?

  357. R. Hammond says:

    As long as he has not owned his primary residence in the past 3 years you will both quailfy for the credit Tina.

  358. My husband and I will buying a house within the next month. I’m a first time home buyer, but my husband has owned a home before. Will I be able to qualify for the tax credit?

  359. Sherry, THANKS for finding that! As I suspected, but great to have it from the source!

  360. For Tayloe and Kyle right out of the bill: Other individuals.–If two or more individuals who are not married purchase a principal residence, the amount of the credit allowed under subsection (a) shall be allocated among such individuals in such manner as the Secretary may prescribe, except that the total amount of the credits allowed to all such individuals shall not exceed $7,500.

  361. R. Hammond says:
    That is the website for the entire bill.
    I too find it odd for the date to be April 9th and my only conclusion is that an analyst predicted the market to slup after that date.
    My wife and I closed on our first home on March 31st, 2008 so we too are S.O.L. and I do find this a little unfair to those of us that are filing our 2008 tax returns and have bought on the 8th of April or sooner

  362. Ryan Suggett says:

    I am about to purchase my first home through the VA. My lender gave me the option to go with a 6% loan with no tax credit and a 6.5% loan with the tax credit. Why can I not get the tax credit with the 6% loan or are they pulling a fast one. Thank you


  363. and i’m sorry danielle :( that really sucks…unfortunately i don’t think there’s anything you do…but it’s good that you’re trying!!

  364. for taylor and kyle, you know i really don’t see why you couldn’t get $7500 each. i mean you both are first time home buyers with qualifying incomes in the qualifying time period. just because you bought the same house doesn’t mean you didn’t each buy something… i don’t think the irs is going to check that carefully, you know? just apply for it on your taxes and see what happens…that’s what i would do (but don’t spend the other $7500 for a while, just in case!! they might want it back, ya know)

  365. Hey Jennifer. I contacted Senator Voinovich’s office in Washington and asked the exact same question. My husband and I closed on our home in Ohio in Mid-March and we are first time home buyers. They told me that the April 9th date was when the “bill” actually came about and that “that date just never really went away.” They stuck with that date throughout the entire process. I have written to my congressman, senator and even emailed the President (not that it will do any good). I’m usally a quiet one, but thought I would be proactive when it came to this. I didn’t understand why, if we are going to claim this “house purchase” on our 2008 income tax forms…why it couldn’t be from January 1st on? They are supposed to be getting back with me, but I’m not holding my breath. The only thing I asked was that the “wording” of the law be amended. But, like I said, I’m not holding my breath. Congrats to those who are eligible for the interest free loan though.

  366. I am wondering why April 9, 2008 was selected as the starting date for this. I closed on my house on March 21, 2008, so I am unhappy that I missed this by less than 3 weeks.

  367. To Taylor and Kyle, you raise an excellent question. Unfortunately my expertise kind of falls short of detailed tax questions. I did a little digging but haven’t found an answer yet.

    I did see, however, that married couples filing separately must divide the $7,500 credit into two credits of $3,750. I would suspect, that the IRS wouldn’t have allowed a loophole for single filers, and you would have to do the same rather than claiming $7,500 each.

    If there are any accountants or tax attorneys out there who know otherwise, please weigh in!

  368. Taylor I would like to know the answer to your questions as well. I happen to be in the same boat.

  369. what i was asking is do me and my girlfriend get 7500 each since we are buying the house 50/50 or do we haft to split the 7500

  370. Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit.

    What ???!!!!

    Why is it that single people are jerked around like this ? Always the case.

  371. question me and my girlfriend are buying a house 50/50 i was curious do both of us get the 7500 dollar credit on our tax return since we arnt married yet or do we get half each

  372. Hello Chris,
    I am not that skilled in different types of R.E. Can you explain what purchasing under a land contract means?

  373. what about new home purchasing under a land contract? am i still eligible to claim this credit???

  374. Keep in mind that you can take this money and put it towards the principal of your mortgage. This can save you a lot of $$ that would have been paid towards interest. This loan is going to allow me to cancel my PMI as well, so I wouldn’t put it in your bank account…..put it back into your investment :)

  375. I guess my point is this: If $7500 tax credit will make or break a $150K household there is no hope for fixing this problem.

    Most likely a couple with a 150K income will not be looking at a $75,000 house purchase, it will be much larger. The lower income couple that are looking at the $75K house on a $35-50K income should look real close before extending into another loan.

    make sense?

  376. It is a loan, yes, but completely interest free. You could take that $7,500 and invest it and earn returns, which is pretty good.

    I figure the government is thinking that home buyers would need this money more in today’s weak economy than over the next 15 years. Still, a part of this is applying to people’s tendency to think short-term (a &7,500 tax credit next year) in order to bolster the real estate and construction industries.

  377. Isn’t this just a loan back of our money we have paid into the tax system? I guess if it were me I would want to keep my loans at a minimum. $7500 over 15 years (180 months) is only @42/month is that really going to help that much?

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