00 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Has Time Restrictions
Q: I am purchasing my first home in Alabama. We are moving from Texas, and while we’re closing in early June, I won’t live in the property until the end of the year.
Will the home buyer tax credit apply to me if I don’t move to our new home until the end of the year? Also, will the tax credit be extended?
A: With the budget deficit soaring, there are no indications that anyone on Capitol Hill or at the White House has the stomach to extend the home buyer tax credits.
In fact, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who sponsored the home buyer tax credit legislation, has come out and said that the tax credits will not be extended.
That means home buyers must have a signed contract by April 30, 2010 and close by June 30, 2010.
In your case, because you intend that the home you are buying is going to be your permanent residence, you should be able to claim a tax credit. But the IRS will want to see this address on your federal income tax return as your permanent address so you should make sure you move in as soon as possible, in 2010.
While you can get the tax break on your 2009 federal income taxes even if you buy in 2010, you should wait until the home has become your principal residence before applying for the tax credit.
In your case, the IRS might take issue if you don’t move into the home and make it your primary residence. In most residential transactions, buyers move into their homes around the time they close. But for some home buyers, they may have to wait a month or two for the seller to move out. But if you wait too long, the IRS may not consider that you purchased the home as a primary residence and you may not be entitled to the credit.
If your wife moves into the home shortly after closing or you start to consider the home as your primary residence shortly after the closing and move things into the home, you might have a better chance of qualifying for the tax credit.
For more details, please consult with a tax advisor.
Q: To receive the $6,500 long-term homeowner tax credit, does the real estate contract have to be signed after November 1, 2009 or is the closing date the trigger to receive the credit?
A: You must have closed after November 6, 2009 and by June 30, 2010 to qualify for the long-term homeowner tax credit.
The date of the contract does not matter. The date of the closing is what’s important for the repeat or long term home buyer tax credit of $6,500.