Q: I love your column and find it very informative and helpful. Here’s my question: My daughter purchased a house and closed on December 29, 2008, taking advantage of the $7,500 tax credit for first-time homebuyers.
She was told by a local real estate agent that there was a change in the law and she won’t have to repay this money as originally stated. What’s the real truth?
A: My understanding is that those who bought in 2008 received a $7,500 tax credit that must be repaid at $500 per year for 15 years. If you bought in 2009 (closing before December 1, 2009), you were eligible for an $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit that did not have to be repaid. I don’t believe this has changed. According to the IRS website, the $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit does not need to be repaid only on homes purchased after December 31, 2008 and on or before December 1, 2009.
The full $8,000 tax credit is available to home buyers who have not owned a home for the last three years and who buy the home as their primary residence between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009 and whose modified adjusted gross income is less than $170,000 if filing jointly or $95,000 if filing as a single person. If the home value is less than $80,000, the tax credit is reduced and if the income you earn is higher than the amounts listed, the credit is phased out.
For additional discussion on this issue read ,000 Tax Credit Downpayment Relief: The Treasury Department Giveth and Taketh Away and ,000 Tax Credit Relief: New Construction Date is Key