$8000 Housing Stimulus Tax Credit: Requirements and Common Questions

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Still lots of questions about the $8,000 First-Time Home buyer Tax Credit. Here are some answers:

What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?
You are considered a first-time homebuyer if:
– You purchased your main home located in the United States after April 8, 2008, and before December 1, 2009.
– You (and your spouse if married) did not own any other main home during the 3-year period ending on the date of purchase.

Do I have to pay the homebuyer tax credit back? How much is the credit for? $7,500 or $8,000?
It depends. For homes purchased in 2008, the $7,500 credit (or 10% of purchase price, if less) operates much like an interest-free loan. You generally can repay it equal installments over a 15-year period unless you move out or sell the home earlier than that. The maximum credit is reduced to $3,750 for married individuals filing separately.

For homes purchased in 2009, you must repay the $8,000 credit (or 10% of purchase price, if less) only if the home ceases to be your main home within the 36-month period beginning on the purchase date. The maximum credit is reduced to $4,000 for married individuals filing separately.

What is the definition of main home? Does a condo count? How about an RV?
Your main home is the one you live in most of the time. It can be a house, houseboat, housetrailer, cooperative apartment, condominium, or other type of residence.

What if I don’t owe or pay any income taxes?
This is a refundable tax credit, which means that even if you don’t owe any taxes, you will receive the credit amount via check or other means. For example, if before this credit you had a tax liability of $5,000 and withheld $4,000, you would owe the IRS $1,000. If you qualify and claim a $8,000 tax credit, you would now receive $7,000.

What are the income restrictions?
The amount of the credit begins to gradually phase out for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is more than $75,000, or $150,000 for joint filers. It is completely phased out when your AGI is $90,000, or $170,000 for joint filers.

Can I just buy a home from a relative and pocket the $8,000?
You don’t qualify for the tax credit if you bought the house from a “related person.” According to the IRS, a related person includes:

  • Your spouse, ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.), or lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.).
  • A corporation in which you directly or indirectly own more than 50% in value of the outstanding stock of the corporation.
  • A partnership in which you directly or indirectly own more than 50% of the capital interest or profits interest.

How do they determine the purchase date as applied to the cutoff dates?
If you bought an existing home, the date of purchase is your closing date, not the day that you sign a purchase contract or enter escrow. If you constructed a new home, you are treated as having purchased it on the date you first occupied it. (Seems like some wiggle-room here.)

What IRS Form Do I Have To Fill Out? Can I File For 2008 or 2009 Tax Years?
That would be the new revised version of IRS Form 5405 (where most of this information is from), which you fill out and attach to Form 1040. Any updated tax preparation software should be able to handle this. If you already bought your house in 2009, you can file either on your 2008 or 2009 tax returns. (Why not get it now?)

What if two unmarried people buy a house together?
If two or more unmarried individuals buy a main home, they can allocate the credit among the individual owners using any “reasonable” method. The total amount allocated cannot exceed the smaller of $7,500 ($8,000 if you purchased your home in 2009) or 10% of the purchase price. A “reasonable” method is any method that does not allocate all or a part of the credit to a co-owner who is not eligible to claim that part of the credit.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I still claim the tax credit?
If you are a resident alien according to IRS Pub 519 and satisfy all the other requirements, then yes you can claim the credit. Nonresident aliens are not eligible.

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  1. Very helpful information especially this question: “What if I don’t owe or pay any income taxes?”

  2. Financial Fellow says

    Great article! It really answers a lot of questions on the $8K Housing Credit. One thing I’d like to tack on if I may. The reason to not claim the $8K Housing Credit on your 2008 taxes is that doing so will result in you only getting a $7500 tax credit. (With the same rules as the $8K tax credit, though). That’s the drawback of doing so. Another way to look at the $8K tax credit for 2009 is that it’s a $7500 tax credit but if you wait until 2010 to claim it you get $8,000.

  3. Thanks. I’m afraid the more tax refund I get, the more an accountant will charge me. Anybody filed their tax yet? Recommendation?

  4. If I am going to purchase a house in 2009, and closing it on or before April 15 2009, can I claim it on my 2008 tax return to get 8K for 1st time home buyer credit?

  5. I purchased my home in 2006, but the title transfer was only in my name, even though I was married at the time, to take advantage of my credit and avoid my wife’s credit. We never did a transaction to sell the home for $1 to both of us, so my wife has never been of a deed.

    If we purchase a home this year, but use her credit (it was improved), and only put the house deed in her name, can we take the credit, even though we’ve been filing jointly for years??

  6. FF-

    That doesn’t make sense? Where are you reading this?

  7. What’s resident alien? What’s non-resident alien?

    I am a human, from earth, and live here in New York. So I am a resident human, not resident alien then.

  8. FF – I don’t think that is correct.

    LeAnn – As long as you otherwise qualify, yes. They are letting you get the credit early on your 2008 return.

  9. what if i’ve already filed my 2008 taxes and received my refund? Can I file an amendment and get the $8,000 tax credit this year?

  10. Ron – Yes, you can file an amended return with Form 1040X for your 2008 taxes. Some people believe filing an amended return increases scrutiny from IRS and therefore audit potential, but if you’re just changing this one thing I think it’s worth getting the $8,000 one year early.

  11. David – A reputable accountant should charge by the hour, not by how big your refund is. Most of use owe money. 😉

    bigmouth – If you’re serious, you should follow Figure 1-A flowchart in Pub 519. There are two main tests: the Green Card test and the Physical Presence test.

  12. Thanks! that was really helpful!

  13. I agree, If I buy a house now, or this year. Would I be able to get the tax credit for 2009, and will we be able to get this every year or this is a one time deal.?

  14. Isn’t this a continuation of failed government policy to encourage people to by houses regardless of other circumstances?

    The response to a million people buying houses they cant afford is to give them even more encouragement to buy a house.

    buy now and get cash back at signing!!!

  15. Vanderlei, I really think the argument of “buy only if you can afford” is a big lie. Because, unless you can pay everything cash, whether it’s new car or a home, you can’t afford it. The real affordability, in my opinion, works this way: you want a BMW that’s $30k. You already saved up $30k in your savings account that’s for your car money. You now can go get it, even if you want just to borrow a loan and keep the $30k as a backup fund. So say if you got laid off and no longer have steady income, you use that $30k in the savings account to finish off the car. That’s affordable. 20% of a down payment may seem a lot, but it simply is not enough when bad things like jobless or major illness hit.

    The problem really is not government trying to help you out with down payment. It is the entire societal mindset of investment and consumer culture. In other words, putting money in a savings or CDs are simply idiotic in this culture. If you are smart, you invest. If you realize you have only 30 years to enjoy your life, you spend it anyhow. That is not the fault of the government.

  16. This is such bullsh*t. My wife and I did everything right, saved up the money for the down payment, avoided PMI, got a fixed rate, did our research … but we bought the house in 2007, about 6 months too early to qualify for this credit. In the meantime, people who happened to fall within the credit time window will get thousands of dollars in CASH … that they can spend however they want.

    Exactly what is this credit going to stimulate? Seven months (Apr 09-Dec 09) of improved homes sales?

  17. My question is how do we get a hold of some of those refinancing incentives? I would really like to pick up some of the low rates out there right now.

  18. Jeff — if you stop making your payments for a couple months you qualify for all kinds of lower rates and other incentives.

  19. Financial Fellow says

    Regarding the $7500 if you claim it in 2008 vs. $8,00 in 2009. I originally pulled it off an article written by a Yahoo Finance writter – not the Associated Press but a credible source none the less. In any event, I can no longer find the article. Aside from that article I can find no other mention of it though and when I check the IRS Form 5405 its on there as a straight up $8K regardless if you claim it this year. So, I’m going to assume that the author of the Yahoo Finance article made an error. Which I repeated above.

    Sorry for any confusion.

  20. I’m engaged now, to be married before the end of the year. I already have a house in my name but I’d like my fiance to buy another house using the credit as he has never purchased a house. Does anyone know if he can get the tax credit given that he would purchase it as a single person?

  21. FF – Don’t worry about it. I’ve seen both CNN and AP make corrections to their stimulus articles.

    annie – Might need to talk to a CPA, but you might have to think if you want the house re-titled to add your name. Not sure if that counts as “selling” the house.

  22. GREENI$BLACK says

    Very interesting! I am very interested in purchasing my first home during 2010, and I hope this credit plan extends until then. I wonder how much confidence $8K can inject into the real estate market. I live in NYC, and unfortunately that amount of money won’t make much of a dent into any condo or house, but it’s still something!


  23. Too bad they didn’t keep the Senate version of $15000 for anyone! That would have got me in to a house now. And a $250,000 house here in TX get’s you a lot 3000-4000 sq.ft. with game room, home theater, 3 car garage, outdoor covered patios, it’s unbelievable.

    I’ll just wait and find the right deal and maybe in 6 more months the govt will reconsider.

  24. I’m thinking about this 8000 tax credit and wondering why this is being offered only to 1st time home buyers? Why not offer this to the people who need to re-finance out of a bad rate?

    It seems the people who paid the most for their homes, and maybe even got duped into a variable rate by falling for a teaser — are the ones who need to get mortgages and rebates. Today’s buyers are actually in a much better position.

  25. Does anyone know how long it takes to get the 8K check? Is it rolled into your normal tax refund check?

  26. Mauricio says

    Heres my situation: closing date Sept 19, 2008 – ok
    We purchased this property from my sister – not ok?
    My wife is on the closing papers so if she does her 2008 taxes married seperately, not jointly, can she apply for the 7500k tax credit? My sister isn’t her “related person”……

  27. HomeBuyer says

    If is been more than 5 years since I purchased and own a home, do I requalify as a first time home buyer again?

  28. This is my case: I bought a mobile home in 1999 and sold it in June 2006. However, I moved out in 2003 and have been renting on my own since then. My parents lived in the mobile home until it was sold. Do I qualify for the $8000 first time home buyer if I purchase a home this month?

  29. I notice there is a 36 month rule upon receiving the credit, what if one rents out the new home one buys in 2009, as opposed to selling it? In other words does the 36 month rule, apply to owing or living in new property.

  30. To clarify I closed on my condo in august of 2007…do i qualify for this or is there something being given for those who bought in 2007? any thoughts will be greatly appreciated. thanks!

  31. hola soy Cubana y estoy interesada en ese credito para poder comprar una casa,
    la pregunta es simple,si no encuentro casa en ese periodo de tiempo como se paga ese dinero para atras?
    y si todos califican?

  32. Yahima:

    El credito es para los que compran casa en este ano, de Enero 2009 a Deciembre 2009. Las qualificaciones requieren cierto annual ganancias, y no puedes haber sido duena en los ultimos 3 anos. Tambien ay otros requisitos.

    @Jonathan: I hope you don’t mind my answering the question above from Yahima. She asked whether she qualified for the tax credit, if she didn’t find a house in 2009. I mentioned the credit is for those who purchase a home between Jan 2009 and Dec 2009.

  33. I am confused! OK, so ppl who buy their home in 2008 get 7,500 and in 2009 get 8,000? Is that right?? Im trying to figure this out because I purchased a home in November 2008 and it is my first home. Do I qualify?? Thanks!

  34. If I purchased a home from my grandparents estate (they are both deceased) where the money went to aunts and uncles do I qualify for the credit? My father was part of the estate but he gifted his share to us and is not listed as a seller (which was only 25%). It does not list aunts and uncles as related for the purpose of the tax credit.

  35. Two questions.Can i amend my taxes past april 15th?I didnt quite understand this – What if two unmarried people buy a house together?
    If two or more unmarried individuals buy a main home, they can allocate the credit among the individual owners using any “reasonable” method. The total amount allocated cannot exceed the smaller of $7,500 ($8,000 if you purchased your home in 2009) or 10% of the purchase price. A “reasonable” method is any method that does not allocate all or a part of the credit to a co-owner who is not eligible to claim that part of the credit. can some explain it a little bit better if possible?

  36. A $8000/10% of purchase price tax credit for first time home-buyers is all good. BUT… the bigger problem is NO ONE IS LENDING MONEY!!! And in MANY parts of the country, homes are still NOT affordable for many. And I (single person, $50K/yr income) CANNOT qualify for a mortgage. So, what is Mr. Obama going to do for the people that can’t purchase a home? The way it looks now, I, as well as many others, not being able to purchase a home, will be financing this little charade with our tax dollars. What is wrong with this picture???

  37. PC

    Why don’t you qualify PC? Was your credit score low? How much money do you have to put down? You will need min of 5% for conventional 30 year loan and 3.5% for a FHA loan. What type of job do you have and how long have you worked there? Unfortunately, if your job is commissioned based, you will need 2 years of income.

  38. I was turned down for insufficient income. My score is around 630-640… but my credit was never run by the 3 banks that declined me. I work for a mining contractor (in a specialty that is not being affected by the mine slowdowns). My DP was 5%. And, now with home prices even lower now than when I was shut out…how can I get in now??? Or is there going to be more stimulus in the form of requiring banks to be a bit more lenient to first-time buyers?

  39. Pauline Plumb says

    Does a Land Contract purchase (owner financed) qualify for the stimulus bonus?

  40. Melody:

    Yup we bought a house in 2008, so we get only $7500, but we have to pay it back!! (for the next 15 years)

    IF we would of waited to buy in 2009, we would of recieved $8000, and not have to pay back!! (stay in home at least 36 months)

    Wow we got screwed!! ;(

  41. If my closing date is on April 24th and I have already done my 2008 taxes, can I still amend them if it is after April 15th?

  42. What if my grandfather is a builder, agreed to build us a house at cost, however we will buy the house from him on closing? It was never his primary residence, would we still not get the credit?

  43. What if the home is owner financed, do I still qualify for the credit?

  44. Somewhat related says

    My wife and I would like to buy her grandmother’s house, which is now owned by her father and uncle. We are both first time home owners and would really benefit from the $8k credit. I qualify for a loan, individually, that will cover the cost of the home. Does anyone know if my father-in-law is considered a relative, excluding my wife and I from the tax credit?


  45. what if I purchased a home in 2005 but didnt live in it. In other words was not my “main home”. What if I purchased it and allowed a family member to live in there and pay for all bills (mortgages, etc.). In 2009 the family member left and is now my main home. Would I qualify for the credit based on me being the owner and using it as my main home in 2009?

  46. We are retired and live on pension and Social Security only. We are going to settlement on a brand new FHA loan house in April ’09. Since we pay no taxes can we still qualify for the rebate? How?

  47. Is the income restrictions based off your 2008 or 2009 AGI? I qualify if its based off 2008, but would not if they base it off 2009. I assume I can file an amended tax return in 2008 since I will be buying the house in the next couple of months, but was hoping someone could confirm.

  48. Paul come on seriously think about it before posting no you will not get a damn rebate you bought the home in *2005* it doesnt matter if you lived in it or not, any one could say yeah i bought a home back when but no i didnt live in it to try and get the rebate. It says if you bought it in 2008 you get the 7500 rebate you will have to pay back over 15 years and in april 2008-dec 2009 you get 8000 credit that you dont as long as you live in there as your MAIN home for 36 months. Its common sense folks.

  49. I dont see anything commen sense about it…if you have done everything the “right” way (decent credit, save money, work hard) and you were able to buy a house last year you get / got 7500 which you have to pay back…if you waited a year you get 8000 which you dont necessarily have to pay back…maybe next year everyone can get a house for free and not have to pay it back…why are people like us going to have to suffer and live with different rules than everyone who is buying a house now…I dont quite understand where the stimulus is really going to help EVERYONE…only those that this economy already helps

  50. I am also interested in knowing if a land contract or owner financed home counts for the tax credit.
    I wonder if it would just have to do with if the house is deeded to you or not in the contract.

  51. Marte Cliff says

    I agree with those who are angry about the “unfairness” of this stimulus – but I don’t think there should have been a stimulus package at all. I also think it wrong for the government/banks to bail out people who are behind on their mortgage payments.

    Why should people who acted responsibly take up the slack for those who purchased a house knowing full well that when the ARM reset they wouldn’t be able to make the payments?

    Lots of blame to go around here, but the bottom line comes down to personal responsibility. That’s something government seems to think we don’t need any more.

    Meanwhile, I’m writing an article for a Realtor about this – and I thank you for your information. Now all I need to find out is the numbers related to the “phase out” between $150,000 and $170,000.

    Do you happen to have that information?

  52. I’m married to a non-resident alien. I will be purchasing the house in my name only. Will I qualify for this tax credit? One of the stipulations of this credit is you CAN NOT be a non-resident alien. I am a US citizen though. How will this work? I ask because last year I did not get the $600 stimulus package because we did our taxes together and because she’s a non-resident alien we did not qualify. Will I have to file my taxes seperately and only qualify for the $4000.00?

  53. What if I already filed my taxes,received my refund and got the 7,500 that I have to repay, can I amend that to get the 8,000 that I don’t have to repay. I have not bought a house yet. Thanks.

  54. If we buy a house on contract from a private individual, do we qualify. The contract purchase price is $56,000. No relation to the seller and a first time buyer.

  55. My accountant advised me to file for the $7500 rebate even though I already own a home. He said it really was for anyone who purchased a home within the required time. I received the refund but now the second property is rented. Should I do an amendment and refund the money and claim for the expensive repairs done on that second property instead? The accountant thinks I should wait for the IRS to find out and ask for it back, I’m not a risk taker and I don’t like owing. I didn’t know how the stimulus refund worked until after my taxes were filed and I read about it online.

  56. Is the income restrictions based off your 2008 or 2009 AGI? I qualify if its based off 2008, but would not if they base it off 2009. I assume I can file an amended tax return in 2008 since I will be buying the house in the next couple of months, but was hoping someone could confirm.

  57. good page very informative, do you happen to know if i buy a home on contract do i qualify for this credit??

  58. Is there a set amount of hoe much I have to spend on a house? What if the house is only 15k?

  59. I see two very interesting questions here that have so far been unanswered. I would be very interested in seeing answers to them both. A) Does a contract purchase count as a credit refund? B) What is the lower cut off area? What if the home is bought for 15K? Does the 10% only kick in if the house is bought for less than 8,000.?

  60. If two or more unmarried individuals buy a main home, they can allocate the credit among the individual owners using any “reasonable” method. The total amount allocated cannot exceed the smaller of $7,500 ($8,000 if you purchased your home in 2009) or 10% of the purchase price. A “reasonable” method is any method that does not allocate all or a part of the credit to a co-owner who is not eligible to claim that part of the credit.

    Well, that is clear as mud.

  61. I own a lot and have a trailer on it right now, will I be able to qualify for the tax credit if i purchase a home elsewhere or build a home on my lot?

  62. I have a question about the income level cut off. It says in this blog that “The amount of the credit begins to gradually phase out for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is more than $75,000” What is the phase out rate? If I am a single filer and I make 78,000 in 2009 how much can I expect to get of the $8,000 tax credit? Thanks in advance!

  63. I am selling my house to someone who qualifies for the first times home credit. Can I finance the purchase? Also can I give the buyer a contract for deed instead of a mortgage and still qualify for the tax credit?

  64. If my son purchases a home in May 2009, and files an amended 2008 1040X/form 5405, 1) Will he get $7500.00 of $8000.00 and 2) Will he have to pay it back as a low interest loan per the 2008 guidelines, or not have to pay it back per the 2009 guidelines ?

  65. I have the same question that has gone unanswered: My spouse had owned our primary residence in his name only, for over 10 yrs and is in contract to sell it. We file joint married tax returns. If the next house is in my name only and is my first home purchase – would I qualify as a first time home buyer for the $8000 credit? And if we were to buy it jointly would I qualify at all for the full or partial credit?

  66. My spouse has owned our primary residence in his name only, for over 10 yrs and is selling it. We file joint married tax returns. If the next house is in my name only and is my first home purchase – would I qualify as a first time home buyer for the $8000 credit? And if we were to buy it jointly would I qualify at all for the full or partial credit?

  67. I bought my first house in 2008 and the closing was on April 8, 2008. The credit is for people who buy a house after April 8th. Does that mean I don’t get it? That seems really unfair.

  68. tiffany ardon says

    I do have a question, My husband and I live in a mobile home right now, but are playing to sell in in the next 2 months, and are plning to get a house before the cut off time, will we get the credit. Is a mobile home really a home? Cant wait to hear some responses. thank you

  69. I do not own a home but I have been given land bu a relative to build a new home on. Will I qualify for the tax credit being the land came from a relative.

  70. I am getting ready to purchase a house within the next 2 months. I’ve alreadys did my taxes for the year. Can I go back and amend my taxes to get the credit before I purchase my house as long as I purchase the house within the time frame of this year?

  71. I am a student, and if I buy a home in 2009 with my mother as a co-mortgagor on a FHA loan would I be able to claim the credit even though she earns too much to qualify for the credit? She would not be living in the house or paying the mortgage I just need her to get approved.

  72. I receive VA & Social Security so I don’t pay taxes and I don’t have to file either. My wife works and so she files separately as head of household. Will we only receive $4000 instead of the $8000 because she files separately? Thanks…

  73. We are in the process of starting a building project with no guarantee that it will be done by December 1 – only with the hopes of getting it done by then. What do you think the wiggle room would be in this situation? If we do not meet the deadline, is there any tax “break” for us at all?

  74. Does the tax credit apply if I lease to own?

  75. Stephanie says

    Is there any wiggle room with the 3 year rule for first time home buyers? My husband and I sold our last house in December 2006. The “official” purchase date was December 21, 2006. That would put us 3 weeks out of the tax credit window of December 1st. Could we use the date the house went into escrow or something like that? Or would the IRS in their infinite benevolence give us the three weeks?

  76. I’m out, just because i bought a house off my parents. I pay with the same money joe and jane doe use. i still had to have good(great) credit. pay the asking price, make the down payment, and be on time with payments. why should i be excluded.

  77. Hi! I have a question, when you claim a tax credit like this, and are refunded money, do you have to claim the refund as income on your next years taxes? If I buy a hoem and receive $8000, next year is my AGI going up by $8000 and bumping me into a higher tax bracket? Also, I pay my student loans on an income contingent basis (based on my AGI), does the credit mean that my income will go up and I will have to pay more? Thanks for your help!

  78. Would any one know the answer to this question–My husband and I own a mobile home. The home is on my parent’s property. We do not own the land and the house is not tied down. Would we qualify for the $8000 rebate?

  79. question:
    If my husband and I buy a duplex and live in half does that count as our main home? Even though we are renting the other half?

  80. Also, How much is “most of the time” in making your home your main home?

  81. Were in escrow right now..we haven’t owned a home in 4 years and we already completed our 2008 taxes. Can we get the 8000 by check?
    and if so, is there any forms to fill out?

  82. Hi, I purchased an apartment in 2001 and sold it jan. 2008. However I did not purchashed it in the United States. I purchased my home in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico you dont pay Federal Income tax. You dont even pay State Taxes due to the fact that its not even a state, you just pax taxes for Puerto Rico. Do I still qualify for a 1st time home buyer due to the fact that Ive never purchased a home in the U.S. and although P.R. is a common wealth, its not a state?

  83. So much for my $8000. I went and talked to my credit union about getting pre-qualified… I’M STILL PRICED OUT. Even with the market at bottom, everything in my area is priced way higher than what banks are willing to lend me. I’m sure I’m not alone here, too. Is Obama going to help the ones that CANNOT buy a home???

  84. Is Obama going to help the ones that CANNOT buy a home???

    P.C. why don’t you go get another job, then you cab make enough money so you can afford it instead of being a lazy ass and thinking you should receive help from the govt!

  85. Andrew Hook says

    Hi All,

    I have a question on first time home buyer eligibility. My wife and I sold a rental we owned in September 2007. We had not lived in the rental since October 2005. We own no other real estate. Since we have not lived in the home since October 2005 do we still qualify as first time buyers since the property was a rental when we sold it?


  86. Is there any validity to the rumor circulating of getting the 8,000 before the purchase of a home for use as a down-payment?

  87. I owned a home 2 yrs ago, my fiance has never owned, we are buying joint. Would he qualify? We would like to get married after home closed, how long do we need to wait, so he won’t be disqualified?

  88. I closed on my first home oct,2007 do i qualify for the tax credit.

  89. Lorraine says

    My husband and I married 3 years ago. I owned a home prior to getting married, he did not. He is NOt listedon my mortgage loan.
    We do not live in the home I own ….I rent it out.

    The home we live in is in another state and we are renting it.
    Would my husband qualify for the first time home buyer tax credit loan? Even if he applies by himself?

  90. who do i go to to help me fill out the information to get the 8k???

  91. H&R block doesnt do it right???

  92. You know, it is what it is. If you are fortunate enough to be a 1st time buyer in 2009…great. Life isn’t fair and my age group ( grad HS 1973) has missed the boat on everything. However, I am happy that some can get $8K to fix up that house they buy or pay off some other debt. Enough whining!

  93. Is there a phone number or website so we can get a better idea as to when we will receive our return?? We was told 8-10 weeks and it is really close to that deadline, but we dont know the exact date that it was put in being that we had it amended once we knew we qualified, and we had already received our regular tax return direct deposit. Does it come direct deposit too? Can’t get a hold of our tax preparer to find anything out so hopefully someone here can answer any of our questions. Please???

  94. my question is is their a way to check the status of your application for the first time homebuyers tax credit

  95. How does it work if two people each bought a seperate house and both people recieved the stimulus, then they get married before the 36 month period is up? Please advise. Thanks!!

  96. elizabeth says

    I owed taxes, paid them, and then mailed an amended tax return to claim the 8000 credit (I qualify.) That was back in April. How much longer do you think it will be before I receive the credit?

  97. divorced and husband owned first home mortgage was in his name only. Do I qualify as a 1st time homebuyer

  98. We bought a house from my wifes mom and her uncle do we qualify for the credit or not? We bought 75 % from her uncle and 25% from her mom

  99. do we qualify for any of the credit or non at all

  100. JENNIFER says

    Iam trying to buy a house. Will you explain to me in a email how it works and how you sign up for it. I am in the works of buying a house. There going to let me knoe if I got the house on july 2 2009

  101. Can anyone please tell me if they have any idea how long it takes to receive your $8000 credit when filed as an amended return this year?

    Websites keep listing 8 to 12 weeks but its been 12 for me and I still have not heard a peep about my return.


  102. If you owe income tax and are making payments, does the credit come off your bal or can it be used as a down payment? please e-mail me the answer. thank you

  103. Does anyone know if the 8k credit applies to buying a condo or townhome?

  104. bonesjordan says

    I see a lot of comments from people who received a great deal…for example someone who received 7500 no interest loan for 15years… talking about getting screwed. …please remember you got something wonderful for nothing! consider yourself lucky! I didn’t purchase in 08, fretted about not taking advantage of loan….would like to buy now…..with 8G credit……or should I fret better is coming down the pike? 8g’s is better than anything else I’ve been offerred..so if I’m fortunate enough to take advantage of this…you can be sure I won’t complain if the proposed 15G becomes reality next year. How fortunate we are if all we have to complain about if we got something for nothing instead of 2x something for nothing.
    Thank you all for reminding me how incredibly blessed we are!

  105. Where do I apply for the credit????????????

  106. Could my son purchase a home that is owned by a corporation that I am an Officer/Shareholder in and qualify for the 2009 tax credit?

  107. my husband and i bought a trailor in 2004. we did not take out a mortgage, we did an unsecured loan. so…. we are looking to purchas a house in a few months will we qualify? I’ve have herd so many diffrent answers. It will be gtreatly appreciated to get a straight forward answer.

  108. Does the 8000.00 credit applying to a person building a home for the first time.

  109. Bought my House April 24th went the 26th they said it should be 10-12 weeks… Has anyone received their chech if so how long did it take????

  110. Im a US citizen and My husband is Canadian, we lived in Canada for the past 5 years,we owned a home there and sold it in May.We just moved back to the USA and bought a house,Here, in June,Do we qualify for the credit?

  111. Im a single MOM who worked my BUTT off to buy a house. I closed on it DEC. 2008 and got the $7500 (have to pay back) which at the time I thought was great. Had I only known, I would have waited. Seems SO unfair the “new” $8000 tax credit does NOT have to be paid back!! Government needs to make an amendment to this!! I am so pissed!!

  112. I really hate the way so many people talk about how the government is so unfair to bail out people who were irresponsible and don’t deserve assistance, when there are those who did everything right. How can anyone question this when we had an unemployment rate that was close to 10 percent. I mean, do you really think that everyone who is losing their home couldn’t intially afford. This mindset is very arrogant and only reveals that there are too many people who take for granted their blessings and good fortune. Let’s hope you never lose a job, have a medical catastrophe, or like me, have perfect finances, only to have a builder ruin your dream home and file for bankruptcy-on purpose! The whole mentality of the people who criticize the government are people who have little compassion and think that they are some invincible-but people-there are some things that will adversly affect you that will be beyond your control.

  113. If you buy on contract do you still qualify for the $8000?

  114. Do you still qualify for the tax credit if you get your financing pre-approved prior to making an offer?

  115. To all all of you who have questions, please see the IRS website that published FAQs http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206291,00.html

    Try to read these answers and those provided above AS IF they are not related to YOU, and you’ll find that most of your queestions will be answered.

    Specifically to VICKI who took the $7500 in 2008 and must pay it back, my understanding is: IF YOU FILE AN AMENDED RETURN FOR 2008 and you do NOT take the credit on your amended return, — THEN file for the $8K in 2009 (assuming your home is worth $80,000 or more), you will receive the $8K rebate and not have to pay it back SO LONG AS THE HOME IS YOUR PRIMARY RESIDENCE FOR 36 MONTHS.

    But you must check with the IRS. Call them. They will answer your questions.

  116. WALLY: All these rebate/credit rules apply AFTER you have purchased a home. You must PURCHASE by end of this year.

    To the questioner re: land contract — read the IRS FAQs. The page specifically addresses your question.

    Now I have a question: A friend heard there’s a minimum interest rate that must be charged in order for the house to qualify for a rebate (the deal is between two private parties). I haven’t read that anywhere, but am wondering if someone else has?

  117. Update for those who qualified for the $8,000 First Time Home Buyer Credit…

    My wife and I bought a home in April 2009. We had been renting for more than the last 3 years. After purchasing, we filed our taxed in mid-june (we had filed an extension). Apparently, when filing your 2008 taxes, the IRS will allow you to claim your tax-credit-qualifying home purchase with the 2008 tax return if you want…instead of having to wait to claim it with your 2009 tax returns. So we claimed it now.

    About 3 weeks later we received our tax refund (without the $8,000 tax credit) in our checking account. Then about 3 days later we received a letter in the mail that our return was being held and that I would receive a phone call or a letter within 1 month requesting more info. Since we had already received our tax return except for the $8k, they meant that they were holding the $8k.

    I waited 1 month…nothing. I checked the IRS website for info and ended up calling them to ask where the $8k was. I was very polite, but got a pretty rude lady on the phone who sounded like she wasn’t interested in helping me. She said to give it another week or two for someone to contact me. A week later I called again and got a very nice lady who listened, and put me on hold to try to find more info. After maybe 10 minutes on hold, she came back and said that although the government had approved this stimulus, they had not increased the staffing at the IRS to handle it. She said everyone requesting the credit was being contacted to provide proof that they qualify. She said I would receive a letter from them soon.

    A couple of weeks later (roughly August 18, 2009) I received a letter from the IRS asking for documentation showing the purchase date, price, sellers name, buyers name etc. The HUD-a Settlement Statement had all of the info that they needed…so I sent it to them yesterday.

    I’ll post again when I hear from them again.

  118. My husband and I are considering helpign our 20 year old daughter buy a house. She is a full time college student and works part time. She can pay the house payment herself but we would have to co signt he loan with her to qualify since she has no credit. Would she be eligible for the 8000 stimulus refund?

  119. Can you get the tax credit if you are purchasing a home on a land contract?

  120. Wow. Sounds like filing an Amendment to get the $8000 now, rather than waiting for tax time is a pain in the you-know-what. We closed in June, and are considering filing the amendment. I have not heard any good reports from those who have. Has anyone out there gotten their $8000? I suppose only those people who have questions and concerns would be on here, not those who have filed and gotten their $8000 quickly and easily……

  121. A few of you have asked what kind of homes apply. The federal housing tax credit website says:
    What types of homes will qualify for the tax credit?
    Any home that will be used as a principal residence will qualify for the credit. This includes single-family detached homes, attached homes like townhouses and condominiums, manufactured homes (also known as mobile homes) and houseboats. The definition of principal residence is identical to the one used to determine whether you may qualify for the $250,000 / $500,000 capital gain tax exclusion for principal residences.

  122. My husband and I are building a home with contracting work that we can’t complete; such as, pouring the basement in two weeks. We plan to frame, roof, siding, window etc. to enclose the house and live in the basement as we work on the house. When the house is completed it will be completely paid for. Will we qualify for incentive since we are living in the basement? comments are appreciated.

  123. Donna: That’s really a question for a tax preparer. I would consult with a trusted CPA to help you through the details. In addition, check on the FAQs of the IRS (I posted the link above).

    On the face, it sounds like you qualify since you will be occupying. The problem, as I see it, is valuing the home since it won’t be completed in time (the entire deal must be finished by November 30th).

    But land contracts qualify if they are done in 2009 — so if you purchased the land in 2009, you should qualify at least, for a credit on the land (10% of the purchase price up to $8K for a couple).

  124. Stephanie:

    Regardless of how slow the IRS has been in giving out the credits, I would apply now. Imagine how bad it’s going to be next year?

    Just be prepared to wait. 8-12 weeks seems optimistic at best, but you’ll be that much ahead of the game if you file now.

  125. Regarding the time period, it is now 12 to 16 weeks from the IRS received date. I am currently on my 16th week and then they say give another 2 weeks for the check to arrive. I requested electronic deposit but it seems you don’t always get what you ask for when it comes to them 🙂

    Hope that helps clarify some information.

  126. i closed on my house at the end of may and is the end of august now and i still have not gotten any money. whats the deal when will i get it. i have a brother that closed a month after me and got his money 2 months ago i went to the same tax place and did the same paper work i really need that money now what can i do?

  127. Jake:

    Go to google and type in IRS where is my rebate check? And then check out all of the sites that show “irs.gov” in the line that tells you the source.

    IMHO, two months is not a “long wait.”

  128. tosun: I suspect you’ll get an electronic deposit. the person on the other end is only trying to pacify you now. They are up to their ears in requests for rebate checks.

    You might do what I suggested for Jake and that is, google: “IRS where’s my rebate check?” From one of those IRS.gov sites you can track your rebate check.

  129. Is it an $8000 tax CREDIT? or is it a $8000 check?? There seems to be some confusion.

  130. I inherited my house I lived in previously, I bought a new house in August, will I still qualify for first time homebuyer credit even know I already own a house ?

  131. Do i have to live in the house i buy to get the $8000? Or can it be rented for a while?

  132. Annette – It is a tax credit. In other words, if you usually get $2000 back on your taxes, you will get $10,000 instead. Or, if you usually pay $2000, you will get only $6000. (That’s using the full $8000 … it’s $8000 or 10%, whichever is less) The money is yours to use as you wish.

    Donald – you do not qualify because you already own a house.

    Kathy – Yes, it must be your primary residence. And you must live in it for a period of not less than 36 months.

  133. I bought a house 13 years ago and my son also was on the loan/title. This was only to help him build credit and so he would be able to get the house if something happened to me. The house has always been mine but because he was on the loan and title, would he qualify for the $8000 rebate. I refinanced 18 months ago and took him off the loan so he could buy his own house. He has not lived in the house for 11 years and has never claimed intrest on the house on his taxes ( as it is my home) wondering if anyone knows the anwser to this question??

  134. If anybody has the info for Debi I also would like to know. For I am in the same situation. I co-signed with my mom and wonder if i still qualify

  135. Debi — regardless of the living arrangements, the IRS will decide ownership based on title information. 18 months is not within the eligible period.

    Here is the rule from above:

    What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?
    You are considered a first-time homebuyer if:
    – You purchased your main home located in the United States after April 8, 2008, and before December 1, 2009.
    – You (and your spouse if married) did not own any other main home during the 3-year period ending on the date of purchase.

    His name was on the title, so for all intents and purposes, he owned it.

  136. To Donald:

    You qualify as a “first time homebuyer” if you have NOT owned a home (regardless of how the title passed to you) for the THREE YEARS prior to purchasing a home to be used as your principal residence for a minimum of 36 months.

  137. I bought a mobile home in June. I have been living with my fiance for the last few years till we decide to get married. I called IRS/ CPA and every body else who I could think of to ask questions. If I buy a trailer and move it on land will I qualify? everybody’s answere was yes. Now IRS tell me I have toget married to qualify, I called and talked to first IRS lady, said that it didnt matter who I talked to and how many times that I visited web site that the book on all requirements is at their office and no one can tell me what qualifies or not, that I had to own land and the trailer had to be somewhere other than my resident of the last 3 years. Finally I called a realestate lawyer, after contacting my congressman and state rep. The lawyer suggested that my name be added to the property deed, which does not state a house on it and it will clear up the problem. Called IRS yet again talked to a real nice lady this time, took time answered questioned asked supervisor to ensure that I will qualify for money. now all I have to do is wait and see. she did state that it could be 6 or more weeks because sooooooooo many people have applied in the last few months. This is so frustrating and no one will give a straight answer I an glad I am not the only one who has a problem. sorry but hope eveyone’s situation works out as well as mine. and thanks for letting me vent

  138. My husband and I purchased our first home in April 2009. We recieved our $8,000 credit 12 weeks later. We filed an ammeded return for 2008 taxes. So yes, you can get the whole $8000 on 2008 taxes. Seek a tax professionals advice… we used my mother who works at HR block. No you do not get to claim this credit every year, however, we will be able to write of our interest on our 2009 taxes resulting in a greater refund.

  139. auntsuzabelle says

    I am loaning money to my son so he can buy a mobile home on a lot. I am fairly certain the mobile home on real property will qualify for the stimulus money, but if I loan him the money, does that mean he is acquiring the property from a relative? He has never owned a home before and I have no connection to the home other than the loan for it.

  140. I also want to know why does townhouses and condo’s qualify? you do not have property as such connected to them.
    Yea a first time buyer can get the entire $8000 depending upon their home price.
    Auntsuabelle, You are just loaning money, ? right, Not the property, the property has no connection to family so it should. keep us posted.

  141. Suz: you are loaning him the money, but the title and all the responsibility — taxes, insurance, upkeep, etc. will be his, so he will qualify, unless your name is also going on the title, in which case, you and he will split the credit unless you are already a homeowner or have been within the last 3 years.

    Charley: The credit can be on any residence that will be your principal home for the next 36 months. That includes a mobile home, a condo, a single family dwelling, probably even a co-op but I haven’t seen that written anywhere.

    Land contracts are also eligible for the $8K credit, but you don’t get both (one for the land and another for the residence). I hope that clears up your question about why the credit is available.

  142. GReat for the info. mobile homes will only qualify if they are on YOUR property, was told by irs could not buy one and put in mobile home park, no property, but back to my other question…. townhouses and condo’s have no property.
    I will be living in the mobile home as my primary residence it will be on my fiance’s land, and it did not qualify.

  143. I bought a home in april 2009 with a VA Loan, Do i still qualify? Also I hear something about you have to have the house as a primary residents for 3 years, is this true?

  144. My wife and I bought a house in April 09. My mom is listed on our mortgage also and as a “first time home buyer” She has a large portion of ownership in the house. I am not a first time home buyer because I owned a house within the last 3 years. Will my mom be able to claim this credit?

  145. Quick question:
    I’ve checked with numerous sources ranging from the IRS to blogs- and haven’t been able to find an answer.

    The question seems rather straightforward (but I want to make sure I don’t violate any codes/laws): After purchasing a 2 bedroom home, can I have a room-mate that contributes half of my mortgage? OR, will I be violating the “non-rental” clause? Albeit, I will plan to live there as well, as my primary residence for three years.

    Thanks much in advance!

  146. My husband and I were recently married and are in the process of purchasing a home (expect to close by mid October 2009). I am a first-time home buyer. My husband is “border-line” first-time as he sold a home on 12/8/2006. Will we be able to claim “first-time” home buyer and file jointly? Or if not, because of my husband’s status, could we file separately and could I still claim first-time credit? We will both be listed on new home mortgage.

  147. My father wants to buy me a house and pay for it cash, The house is going tobe be only under my name, but he is the one paying for it.. Do i Qualify to receive the 8000.00? Even though the money did not come from me?

  148. If you have a unpaid balance on your credit report, will it stand in the way of getting preapproved

  149. My gross income is exactly at $95,000. Would I still be eligible for this tax credit?

  150. The rabate is UP to $8000 or 10% whichever is smaller depending upon the price of the house. As far as I ahve read ad researched their is no credit check, as far as an unpaid balance. but who knows it is a new day and the rules could change. As far as where the money come from, IRS is worried about who’s name is on title or deed, that person will be eligilbe for the money.

  151. My husband and I filed the proper paperwork to get our $8000 rebate in July. To date, we haven’t received it or had any word. Where can I check on it or track it? I’m getting worried that we might not get it!

  152. Thanks for giving info regarding the IRS Form 5405. This is the first I’ve seen of the form and given the complexity and headaches associated with filing each year, this form is short, simple, and intuitive!

  153. The phone number I have is 1-866-897-0177, that was the contact number on the first set of paperwork I recieved, stating that I needed to send MORE paperwork. I tried the irs.gov web site and it was a waste of time. try this I am not sure if it is the regular IRS number or not but it is worth a try. I called last week, the serv. rep said that I had been assigned a case worker and that I could take up to 8 more weeks or more to get a check. I know that relators and others in the ” selling” business are telling people to BUY and it will take 30 days to get check, fo course when you try and talk to some of these people they think they know it all. good luck and we will keep waiting on the check.

  154. My husband and me purchase a house with two duplex in the back.We live on one property and rent the others ones.We are first time buyers.Do we qualify for the 8,000 tax credit?

  155. Does anyone know if you have to pay taxes on the money you get from the tax credit?

  156. My 21 year old son lived at home in 2008 and for most of 2009. He purchased his home in July of 2009. He was still a student in 2008 living at home with his parents who claimed him as a dependant non their 2008 return. He was told by his realtor that he qualified for the $8000 tax credit. He is waiting for his check, but I’m afraid he was told wrong. Will he get the money?

  157. what if your buying a home for the first time but you have two co buyers. one is my father who ownes a home and will not live with me. the other is my girlfriend who owned a home before but will live wit me. we are not married and I will be filing taxes alone, do I qualify and is it for the whole 8000? someone please reply

  158. I purchased my parents home…but not from them directly. They both passed away and I bought it from thier trust as it was set to be sold and money split between all siblings. The trustee is thier lawyer who oversees all transactions. Does this still mean I dont qualify?

  159. I am a student and my parents are buying a house and we were thinking to put it in my name so we can get the 8k credit. I currently have no income and hence do not file taxes. Can we put the house in my name and get the credit?

  160. I am buying a home from my Great-Grandmother, does that mean I don’t qualify? The way I read it I don’t and that is so unfair! This is my first home purchase and I will have to pay for the home myself! Does anyone know who I can contact or what I can do if anything to get the tax credit?

  161. Question about the new extension of the tax incentive for Home Buyers. If you’ve owned a home for 5+ years and you are trying to receive the $6500 tax incentive. Do you have to purchase something more expensive? If yes, does it have to be more expensive than what you paid for the property or what you sold it for?

  162. If I sold a home October 13, 2006…And purchased a home in June 2009 Will I qualify for the $8,000 tax credit with the new guidelines Obama just passed??

  163. Kathy Thompson says

    My husband and I owned a home. We recently divorced. This leaves me buying my first home. My name, of course, was on our mortgage and deed of the home my former husband still owns. Would I qualify for the stimulous when purchasing what will be my first home?

  164. Has anyone received their rebate, filed in July resent papers and still waiting.

  165. with the new $6500 tax incentive do you have to sell your home you have been living in? We were looking at renting our home we have lived in for 6 years and purchasing a new primary home to live in.
    Will we Qualify for the $6500?

  166. I purchased a house on april 22 2008, I never file any credit of 7500 or 8000 on my 2008 tax return , will I still get 8000 if I file my 2009 ta return next year.

  167. I bought a house back in august of 2006. am i not able to get anything on this tax credit. My first house and still live there?


  169. I was told that I needed to have a credit score of 680 to qualify for the $8000.00 to use as the down payment. Does anyone know if this is true? Thanks to anyone who responds with answer.

  170. Okay so we bought our house march of 09. Amended my taxes for the credit the day we closed-I’ve been waiting since to get the 8000 tax credit. Neither of us have owned a home before, I am 20 he is 25-we’re due to get married in June-I filed it in my name since we couldn’t file jointly. Its been audited since June-I’ve had to send them every document possible to show proof that I am on the deed, and our utilities bill. So they could verify I live there. It takes them almost 90 days to review the documents you send them either via mail or fax. We bought a repoed house and spent most of our savings on our down payment, because our relator and and the media painted a great picture that you get the money almost right away… well you don’t! They review ALL OF THE CASES NOW. I’ve contacted the IRS a lot in regards to my refund and get no where. They don’t even call you back when you request a call back from the person working on your file. My fiance and I have gone through 3 layoffs between the two of us because of the economy. My fiance is in the plumbing union and is about to go through his 3rd layoff and the company I worked for downsized. Luckily I found another job right away, though I did have to take a pay cut in half. I’ve explained this to the IRS. It doesn’t speed up the process any! We are completely frustrated because there is a lot we need to do to our house.

  171. So the economy is garbage, you nad your soon to be husband are extremely young AND have several layoffs but you buy a house and dump all your savings into it. And then you’re upset that the government isn’t giving you your fellow Americans money “aka 8k rebate.” and I have to watch you and 50 billion others that obviously don’t even deserve a home complain. Give me a break lady. I need to figure out how to remove these emails from getting sent to me, I’m tired of reading emails of boo hoo’s about not getting my hard earned money in the mail.

  172. Bryana, you sound like a carbon copy of my situation, call after call after call, the IRS lady told me they have to do this and that well LIke yall still no money. I found out that my case has been review and closed but their is not definate date when they will cut a check. I can not draw unemployment, because Lowes only works their parttime people 16-30 hr a week, so not enought to draw from my fiance might be able to draw from this new extension but not heard, yea I would like to sit down to a nice meal and celebrate my new house without having to wonder where the money is to pay for electric and whether or not I even have a job. You are not alone, Iknow it doesnt help but we r in this together.

  173. My grandfather purchased a home for my husband and I in 2007. We pay him every month, and the land is in our name. We are currently looking at buying a new home, and we are not sure if we would be eligible for the 1st time home-buyer credit or not since our current home was not financed through a financial institution and it was bought buy a relative for us. If someone can answer this question, please let me know.

  174. Excuse me Michael, not deserving of a home!? My fiance and I work hard for what we have. My fiances job was going great, until we bought our house. Our finances were doing great, we weren’t depending on this money until we both went through our layoffs. I worked for a company that was suppose to make it through this bad time in the economy and they had to do a mass layoff. Your pathetic to say someone doesn’t deserve what they were promised. We wouldn’t have bought a house if it weren’t for that tax credit. Just like so many other homeowners that are in this mess. You have no right to say so many people aren’t deserving of this credit. I think I have came a long way for being 20 and owning a house, maybe you should rethink what you say. We pay ALL OF OUR BILLS ON TIME. I have to work 2 jobs to make sure our bills are paid but they are, so you to say I am undeserving is pathetic like I said before. I am paying off student loans, a house, and a car payment and doing it all on time. I DESERVE MY HOUSE. I however do no deserve to be lied to by my government, and given false promises.

  175. By the way Charlycw, thank you. Its good to see there are decent people left in the world. We have money in our savings but we have a wedding coming up in June, and thats what that money was there for. We didn’t waste money that we could have used on bills on Christmas either. I made sure our bills were taken care of before I spent any extra money on presents-thankfully we have parents that are supportive and understand what we are going through.
    I feel for your family and you in my thoughts and prayers along with everyone else that is still waiting on their promised return. We bought a repoed home and so we were planning on using that 8k to fix it up, its had one thing break down after another-and if we would have had that return we wouldn’t be were we are now. We could have fixed them no problem. Thats why I’m so upset. Our bills are being paid fine, but I haven’t been able to fix the things I want to in my house. The whole reason for the tax credit is to help those who are first time home owners buy the things they need in their house. To stimulate the economy. Well they aren’t helping us by delaying the process. Luckily we weren’t hoping for that money to buy things like furniture. Which is what the money was intended for, to help people buy the things they need for their house.

  176. Merry Christmas to all. I got 2 letters from IRS in the mail, what a waste of postage for the one, but anyway, said they are sorry that they did not get to my claim before the latetst deadline but ie will 6-8 more weeks. Shoot at this rate I will have filed my 2009 return and got it back, before this gets here. My fiance’s nephew bought a house 2 weeks ago and he was all happy and boasting that the realator told him he would get his rebate in 4 weeks, I laughted and told him not to bet on it but then he wanted to argue, cause he knows it all. He borred money against the down payment and the rebate was to pay it back and it has to be paid back by the end of January. HAHAHA dont think that is going to happen.

  177. Bruce Leatherspoon says

    I heard the first-time homebuyer credit is available to someone who has owned a house for the last 5 years and builds a new one. If I build a tree house in my back yard that costs $65,000 and move into it as my principal residence, can I claim the $6,500 credit?? I’m moving in before May 1, 2010. It’s gonna be awesome!

  178. maria12345 says

    Do I have to pay back tax credit if I have to move to another state and sell my first home and buy a new home before the 36 month period is over? The prices of the homes would be pretty much the same. Or do I just have to pay back the 8000 and apply for 6500 as a second time home buyer?

  179. If you took the tax credit on your 2009 taxes, do you have to claim that as income in 2010?

  180. Frank the patient one. says

    Has anybody received their Credit? I’m still waiting since July 2009 and they keep writting back to me saying they need additional paperwork.
    I called them in July before submitting in my claim and they told me that all they wanted was the 5405 and 1040X. 12 weeks later they wrote asking for additional paperwork. 8 weeks after that they wrote asking for additional paperwork. I called them and they told me that they are really backlogged because too many people applied for the credit. I think that they didn’t have a proper system in place to process the claims and now they are doing 5 times the work load reviewing and replying and reopening claims. They should have let us file it electronically.

  181. Poohbear: The only thing you have to claim on your 2010 taxes is if you received an interest. Frank the Patient one: send them everything you can to prove you bought this house and its where you live. It will make your life easier, because they will ask for EVERYTHING. Stay patient. We waited almost a year, we still don’t have it but I spoke with them today and the check was suppose to be sent today so I’ll find out for sure tomorrow if it was sent. Good luck to all.

  182. Father in law had a house that he had sold. The buyer abandoned the house, after one year the court gave him the house back since they had not made the payments. My wife and I bought the house from him but financed it through the bank paying him the appraised value of the home. So since we bought from relative we can’t get the $8000 credit even though we financed it at the bank?

  183. that would be correct. they are getting strict too.

  184. Where or to whom can I report fraud? Person I know bought the house he lives in the year before.


  186. We bought a new double wide mobile home in August of 2008. Do we qualify for the credit?

  187. Also, does it matter which tax year we file it? Of course we have already filed for 2008, and are waiting to find out more about this for 2009.

  188. I have posted before and never got an answer. We filed for this last year in April and still have yet to get the 7500 credit. How long should this take? It’s been almost a year! We can’t get any answers from anyone. Not even the IRS.

  189. I must say..a lot of people have been talking about how long it took or is taking to get this credit…let me tell you what happens…it goes to the IRS, the IRS then sends it to 3-4 different departments, and they never know where your file is when you call to check…after about 9-11 months you get a letter saying they need proof you live in the home…that proof being utilities in your name and also a copy of the deed etc… then you will wait another 3 months and finally you get a check…I have seen this personally with about more than 80 people…so be ready to wait almost a year and a half…it truly is a painful wait…

  190. I settled on a house in FLORIDA Dec. 29, 2009. It is the only house i own. I am moving down full time in June but making occasional trips down (about 2 weeks at a time). H&R Block is telling me I do not qualify for $8000 refund. I just bought the house. How can I prove it is my principal home if there hasn’t even been enough time gone by?

  191. if you own land and have a mobile home (loans on each) does this disqualify you from being a first tme homebuyer??

  192. I just purchased my first home last month and I already electronically filed my taxes. When you get your taxes back you have to amend them and send it back to IRS with the tax cedit forms via mail. You can’t electronically file the credit. We will get the 8K but have to wait 3 or 4 months before it comes.

  193. I am just wondering how this first time home buyers thing works? I bought a house from a co-worker and it is a old used trailer, will i still qualify?

  194. Kate Doe says

    I live in Texas. My husband and I filed our taxes perfectly with a financial advisor and sent them in on January 31. 6 weeks later we were told by the IRS website to expect our refund on April 6th. 2 weeks ago we received a letter from the IRS saying they needed copies of our W-2s (yes, they had been sent with the originals). We called, were told we need to resubmit anyway, and did so the next day. I called last week to make sure they were received and was told by the IRS person to call back in a week. I got off the phone with the IRS just now, it being a week later. Have they received my information? They can’t tell. Will I be receiving my refund tomorrow? No. Can you tell me when my refund will be received? Check back in 4 weeks. I wish I were kidding. Taxes submitted with all proper paper work on January 31, asked to resubmit paper work on March 22nd, and on April 5 told to check back on status in 4 WEEKS! Unbelievable. You’d think the government would create some much needed jobs by hiring more people to better handle this. Not only that, but my husband and I withdrew from our IRA to pay for our house. This is not only allowed for first time home buyers, but both government websites and our Finance person showed that first-time homebuyers who do this will only be taxed 20% of the amount withdrawn over $10,000. We withdrew $15,000, $5,000 of which was taxable, and the IRS charged $3500 in taxes. When asked about this they simply stated “…new rules…” but could not provide documentation. Last I checked 20% of $5000 was $1000, NOT $3500. Just for reference, even 20% of the total $15,000 is $3000, not $3500.

  195. Filed my 2008 amended return for the 8,000 credit in Oct ’09. Received a letter from the IRS in February (4 months later) requesting we send them a copy of the closing contract which lists signatures of me and my wife, and the seller. I called them to make sure that’s all they needed. I spoke to a very helpful women and she verified that my file was being reviewed and the closing contract was all the additional information they needed. So I sent them the information the next day. Received a letter 2 weeks later stating that they have received the information and will respond within 30 days. Just received another letter yesterday again stating that they will respond within 30 days. Stalling? I think they are sending these “will respond within 30 days” letters just to buy more time. My accountant said that he has clients that have been waiting 6 to 8 months already and still have not received anything. So far we have waited 5 1/2 months and I don’t expect to see anything in the near future. It must be true that they are very overwhelmed by all of the paper work that needs to be reviewed plus all the tax returns for 2009. In any case, I think the IRS should have set up shop with more staff to handle the overwhelming task. Hopefully they are working on it.

  196. can i get the federal housing tax credit on a lease to own?

  197. Frank the patient one. says

    I’m sorry to tell you that your nightmare is not over. There seems to be a patern here and you’re only about 70% of the way. The next letter they’re about to send to you, in a few weeks, will be looking for proof of where you lived the last 3 years. Then they will do the stalling tactic of “we will respond to you in 30 days”. Then 30 days later they will write to you with the approval. Then they will mail you your check in 6 to 8 weeks. (with a small interest on it). Don’t count on the check getting to your doorstep before the end of summer. My advice for you is that you might as well get your Utility bills, leases etc and just send them over to save you some time.

  198. Nick917 says

    I just received another letter (3 copies of it, what a waste of postage) stating that they have approved my credit and that I will be receiving the $8,000 in 6 to 8 weeks. That would make it 8 months from the time I first filed for the credit. Atleast I know I’m receiving it.

  199. Finally received it a couple of days ago! $8,343.00 with interest. It took 6 months to get it. I guess I can’t complain since it doesn’t neeed to be paid back.

  200. After reading all these comments about long processing times I thought I was in for a long wait. But I waited to claim my $8000 on my 2009 taxes. I filed on the last day April 15 and got my $8K May 12th. Guess it must be faster if you didn’t ammend your 2008 taxes to get it.

  201. Kate Doe says

    Congrats, Nick!
    It took 5 months for my husband and I to get out credit, no interest included. We’re actually contacting the IRS – we’d LIKE to be audited. We have had two financial professionals go over taxes, receipts, etc. and feel we over paid taxes by about $2000 – $3000. And because we make such little money we don’t want to get that back. Granted we got our house credit, but that was all we got back, not a cent more. As we both work for the state making barely enough to get us over poverty level and we paid about 30+% interest on a withdrawl of an IRA for a first time home buyers we want to see some money back. (For an IRA withdrawl for a first time homebuyer 20% tax is supposed to be charged for any amount over $10,000. We paid about $3600 on the total taken out of $12,000 – we’ve been told by 2 CPA’s and one financial analyst that we should have paid about $600 total). They did not handle the new tax laws for this homebuyer credit well.

  202. Kate,

    Like you, I also withdrew money from an IRA (401K) in order to help towards a down payment for our house we closed on in October. As you know, the way the federal tax works on early IRA withdrawals is they take 20% tax right away, so you’ll receive 20% less of your withdrawal right away. In addition to the 20% fed tax off the top, an additional 10% penalty is taken plus an additional tax is taken depending on where you fall under the federal tax bracket. For example, if you and your husband fall under the 25% fed tax bracket, on top of the 20% off the top and the 10% penalty, you will also be liable for the extra 5% (20 + 5 = your 25% fed tax). So in reality, you should be paying 35% in total federal tax from your early IRA withdrawal. So if you withdrew 12K, you’re looking at 4,200 in fed tax, not to mention the state tax you’ll need to pay which is usually 4 to 6 percent. NJ is 6% which is what I needed to pay.

    Are you saying your accountant that prepared your 2009 taxes determined you will be getting a refund of $2,000 to $3,000 and that’s what you filed? Not sure I followed that. If that’s the case, the IRS may be sending you a separate check besides the 8,000 credit they already sent you. We owed money to the IRS for the year 2009, we only paid part it so far and they still sent us the entire $8,000 plus interest. So perhaps another check to you guys from the IRS is in the mail for your filed refund. I’m waiting for the IRS to tell us that we still owe money (which I already know since we didn’t pay the entire fed amount – was waiting for the 8K check to arrive), so part of our 8K tax credit will be going back to the IRS – they seem to always get a piece of the pie. Good luck to you guys.

  203. Kate Doe says

    Nick – if you’re withdrawing for first time home buying that additional 10% is supposed to be waived as per the government website and every CPA out there.
    We’ve been through it with 2 CPA’s, a financial analyst, and the IRS contact lines. That’s why we’re trying to get audited; based on what the IRS has told us we’ve been over taxed.

    Andrew – Holy cow, good for you! We didn’t amend our 2008 taxes – it just took that long, but based on your luck it must have been taking so long because they were working out so many kinks, so to speak.

  204. Kate,

    I believe the 10% penalty tax waiver for the first 10,000 is for IRA’s only, not 40#K plans. If you withdrew from a traditional IRA then you should have only paid a 10% penalty for anything over 10K. In your case, you should only be paying 10% of 2,000 instead of the entire 12K. In my case, I withdrew from a 401K plan, so I don’t qualify for the waiver. If anyone knows otherwise, please chime in.

  205. chaosfactor1 says

    I purchased my home in Jan of 2010, yes I purchased from a relative but I also paid fair market value for the home, I did not get any breaks on the cost, the purchase price as the appraisal price, what is the reason for not qualifying besides the IRS saying I do not qualify due to the purchase through a relative?

  206. TheDUHfactor says

    You answered your own question. There doesn’t have to be another reason. You bought from a relative.

  207. Hubby and I filed the $8,000 stimulus before April 15, we purchased a home for the first time on March 2nd – closing and all! We recieved our refunds from State and Federal before.
    I went to a Tax Preparer to amend our taxes for the Stimulus and we are still waiting on the $8,000. We should be getting it soon I hope, is there someone I should get in contact because it will be 2 months?

  208. I would wait another few weeks before you start thinking about contacting anyone. We contacted the IRS directly. The number is 1-800-829-1040. Good luck.

  209. The IRS is killing me on this credit. A few years ago my wife and I bought a travel trailer and have been writing off the intrest on our tax forms. A few years later the housing crash hits and now we can afford to buy a home and the 8000 credit made it even better. We buy our first home and apply for the credit and we get a letter telling us we are disqualified because we claimed the interest on our RV. Because we claimed the interest the IRS conciders that our first home and we can’t get the credit. Rediculous!!!! I don’t know what to do. We have already appealed and they sent this reasoning back to us. What to do?

  210. This is really interesting. I wonder, though, about how the IRS is handling these claims. It seems that many of the credits are getting lost or simply forgotten by the IRS.
    Eva Rosenberg has a few tips for people who have already filed and are waiting for the bureaucratic mess to be over: http://tax.equifax.com/2010/06/home-buyer-tax-credit-cash-7-things-you.html

  211. When did you buy the new house? I understood that the latest version of the credit was for existing homeowners as well as new?

  212. I bought this house in 2009 and moved in to it in May 2009. This credit was for First Time home buyers. They are batting around the idea of giving a 4600 dollar credit to 2nd home buyers but that hasn’t been passed.

  213. Constance says

    I fit into the “two unmarried people bought a house together” category. Both names are on the deed, but only mine is on the mortgage. I understand that you must have that first time home be your primary residence for 3 yrs or you have to pay that credit back.

    But what if one of the two unmarried people move out, but one stays for 3 yrs? For instance, does it matter whose name is on the mortgage? What if my name is on the mortgage, I move out, and continue to keep my name on the mortgage while the other person lives there for 3 yrs? Do we still have to pay the credit back?

  214. Larry Fleckinger says

    I only wish they would have let the tax credit run longer to help people who wanted to buy a home take advantage of the low interest rates the banks are offering.

  215. I just received a direct deposit into my bank account for 8058.37 from the IRS 200. Everything says that this will be a paper check. Is this legit?

  216. There is interest? I suppose that softens the blow a little bit. We bought our first house and were denied the credit saying we already owned property! It’s a preposterous claim on the part of the IRS…we have never owned anything whatsoever, not even a tent for goodness sake. We have also experienced the stalling tactics, just got our second letter today saying they “need more time” to “investigate” but…if they denied us the credit, didn’t they already investigate? It’s just such a slap in the face when we’ve been renters our whole lives and had nothing but the simplest tax returns. Thank goodness most people here did eventually get the return so there is some hope.

  217. What if two individuals buy the house in 2009-Aug (both names on title and mortgage – the woman gets the 8k and we split it)

    and then in 2010-nov refinace the house and take off her name (she recieved the 8k) off the mortgage (to get a better rate) but keep her name on the title.

    Do we need to repay the 8k?

  218. If a got the 8,000 for my tax for my house can the restate ask for it for a down payment. that scene like a lot for a down payment. and can he find out if i really got it, from the tax people. if i don’t give it to him can he take my house

  219. Me and my wife purchased our first home and supposidly qualified for the credit. Was suppose to get $6000 back. Its been 9 months and we got nothing. ALL paperwork was correct and checked by 4 different people. Then mailed in. 16 weeks later we get a letter stating they have to investigate this matter further…. still weeks go by and nothing done. This whold thing is a scam ripoff by the irs & lovely president. VOTE THESE LIERS OUT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  220. Craigthemongoloid says

    Hundreds of thousands of people are losing their homes and you’re crying about FREE money taking 16 weeks? haha.. what an ahole. You’ll get your money as long as you actually do qualify for it. Seriously how dumb are these people?

  221. I have the same question as above. I realized it wasn’t answered

    I too want to make sure I don’t violate any codes/laws: After purchasing a 3 bedroom home, can I have a room-mate that contributes to my mortgage? OR, will I be violating the “non-rental” clause? Albeit, I will plan to live there as well, as my primary residence for three years.

  222. I purchased a home in March 2010 as a single person. I will be getting married in June 2011 (that is still suprising to me). Will I have to pay back the $8000 if I move in with him after the wedding?

  223. If I remember right and according to the letter I got back in December, The house must be PRIMARY residence for 3 years if you move you must pay the money back.. you should consult a tax preparer or the letter should be in the mail some where… Yea like our checks were.:) good luck and congrats

  224. I am a RN, and would like to start work as a travel nurse. My address would still be my permanent address, but I would be working 13 week contracts in California. Would I have to pay the stimulus money back?

  225. I purchased a condo in Oct 2009. Can I still get the $8000 credit for it? For all kinds of reasons, I never filed for the credit.

  226. It is a rippoff! They will find something, Why they WILL NOT GIVE YOU the credit. THIS IS A RIPPOFF

  227. Jenna Herrera says

    I received an $8,000 tax back incentive in 2011, for the purchase of my home in May of 2010. Per the IRS, the home I purchased must be my primary residence for 36 months. I currently live in the home and rent out two rooms for $500/each. I would like to purchase another home w/ my fiance. I would be a co-borrower on the home we purchased. The only problem is the extra $1,000 I receive every month can’t be used as income because I did not claim it on my 2011 taxes. Can I amend my 2011 taxes to include this $1,000 income without risking having to pay the IRS the $8,000 back? Which will allow me to help my fiance with a larger amount. Please advise. Thank you very very much!

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