Thursday, November 05, 2009

Homeowner Tax Credit Extended and Expanded!

Senate Extends Homebuyer Tax Credit-

The Senate voted to extend the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit while also expanding the credit to existing homeowners who want to move to another residence.

The refundable credit was set to expire at the end of November. The new legislation extends the maximum $8,000 tax credit for first-time homeowners to April 30, 2010. It also includes a maximum $6,500 tax credit for existing homeowners who want to purchase a new home. However, they need to have lived in their current home for five consecutive years within the past eight years.

The level of qualifying income has also been expanded, allowing individual taxpayers who make up to $125,000 and joint filers earning up to $225,000 to qualify. The earlier credit had been limited to individuals earning up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $150,000.

A smaller credit would also be available to individuals who make up to $145,000 and couples who earn up to $245,000.

Tax credits could be claimed for homes that cost up to $800,000.

Repayment of the credit would be waived for members of the armed forces who are away from home on extended duty, and the credit would be extended for an additional year if they are away on duty.

Under the bill, first-time home buyers would receive the $8,000 tax credit if they sign a contract by April 30 and close on it by June 30. The plan would also make those who buy a new primary residence eligible for the $6,500 credit if they owned their current home for at least five consecutive years in the previous eight years.