An early Christmas present for many home buyers came in the form of the extension of the federal tax credit for home buyers, and was signed into law by President Obama Friday, Nov. 6. The tax credit, which was set to expire Nov. 30, has been extended through April 30, 2010 with a 60-day extension if a binding contract is in place prior to deadline. It also was expanded to include existing homeowners who have lived in their primary residences for five consecutive years out of the last eight years.
For all kinds of FAQs (aka, “Everything You Wanted to Know About the Tax Credit….But Were Afraid to Ask), see the official website here.
First-time home buyers still may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $8,000, while existing homeowners may receive a credit of up to $6,500. The bill also increases the qualifying income limits from $75,000 for single tax filers and $150,000 for joint filers, to $125,000 and $225,000, respectively. The purchase price of the home is capped at $800,000 in both instances.
Under additional provisions in the bill, taxpayers can claim the credit on purchases completed in 2010 on their 2009 income tax returns. The bill maintains the provision that home buyers do not have to repay the credit provided the home remains their primary residence for 36 months after purchase, and waives this requirement for active duty military personnel who move due to a military order.