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Tax Tips: Claim The 2009 Homebuyer Credit Now Or Later

Nila Rankit

Claim the 2009 homebuyer credit now or later
The IRS announced recently that taxpayers who qualify for the first-time homebuyer tax credit on a home purchased from January 1, 2009, through November 30, 2009, may claim the credit on either their 2008 income tax return due April 15, 2009, or on their 2009 tax return due April 15, 2010.

This option makes it possible for qualifying taxpayers to put money in their pockets in 2009, rather than waiting until next year to benefit from this tax break. Note that you can amend an already-filed 2008 return to claim the credit. Since the credit is "refundable," you may be eligible for a refund.

The first-time homebuyer tax credit provides a refundable credit of 10% of the home's purchase price, up to a maximum credit of $8,000 for couples filing joint returns ($4,000 if you're single or married filing separately). If you live in the home for at least three years, the credit does not have to be repaid. Income limits apply, with phase-out of the credit starting at $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.

For first homes purchased from April 9, 2008, through December 31, 2008, a credit of up to $7,500 is available to qualifying taxpayers. This credit can only be taken on a 2008 tax return, and it must be repaid in 15 equal installments beginning with the 2010 tax year. 

If you would not like to receive tax tips from my office, please call 617.678.4021.

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