6 Questions (and answers) about the Extension of the First Time Homebuyer’s Tax Credit

by November 18, 2009 • 3 comments

I am so excited that the tax buyer credit has not only extended but has expanded. Now move-up/repeat-home buyers can jump on board and reap the benefits of the program. I think most people are aware of the provisions and rules applied to the old bill but thought it would be fun to look at some of the new things available for those that are NOT first time home buyers. The Worker, Home ownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 has established a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified move-up/repeat-home buyers (existing home owners) purchasing a principal residence after November 6, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010 (or purchased by June 30, 2010 with a binding sales contract signed by April 30, 2010).

  1. Who is eligible to claim the $6,500 tax credit?
    Qualified move-up or repeat home buyers purchasing any kind of home are eligible to claim this credit.
  2. What is the definition of a move-up or repeat-home buyer?
    The law defines a tax credit qualified move-up home buyer (“long-time resident”) as a home owner who has owned and resided in a home for at least five consecutive years of the eight years prior to the purchase date. For married taxpayers, the law tests the homeownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse. Repeat home buyers DO NOT HAVE to purchase a home that is more expensive than their previous home to qualify for the tax credit.
  3. How is the amount of the tax credit determined?
    The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to a maximum of $6,500. Purchases of homes priced above $800,000 are not eligible for the tax credit.
  4. Are there any income limits for claiming the tax credit?
    Yes. The income limit for single taxpayers is $125,000; the limit is $225,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return. The tax credit amount is reduced for buyers with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) above those limits. The phaseout range for the tax credit program is equal to $20,000. That is, the tax credit amount is reduced to zero for taxpayers with MAGI of more than $145,000 (single) or $245,000 (married) and is reduced proportionally for taxpayers with MAGIs between these amounts.
  5. What is “modified adjusted gross income”?
    Modified adjusted gross income or MAGI is defined by the IRS. To find it, a taxpayer must first determine “adjusted gross income” or AGI. AGI is total income for a year minus certain deductions (known as “adjustments” or “above-the-line deductions”), but before itemized deductions from Schedule A or personal exemptions are subtracted. On Forms 1040 and 1040A, AGI is the last number on page 1 and the first number on page 2 of the form. For Form 1040-EZ, AGI appears on line 4 (as of 2007). Note that AGI includes all forms of income including wages, salaries, interest income, dividends and capital gains.
    To determine modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), add to AGI certain amounts of foreign-earned income. See IRS Form 5405 for more details.
  6. If my modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is above the limit, do I qualify for any tax credit?
    Possibly. It depends on your income. Partial credits of less than $6,500 are available for some taxpayers whose MAGI exceeds the phaseout limits.

AS always I suggest to please contact your accountant or financial advisor to see what you may qualify for. Those great deals out there are getting even better when you consider the additional benefits of homeownership. However, I would still warn customers to discuss at length the decision to enter into a short sale agreement with their Realtor. WE are so fortunate living in Panama City Beach because we have countless exciting things happening in our area to draw home buyers and the good news just keeps getting better. Stay tuned next week and we will continue this subject and in the meantime Enjoy our beach and each other and remember, “The only people we have to get even with are those that have helped us” My list is long and I hope yours is too.

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1 Kathleen McAuliff November 19, 2009 at 11:33 am

This is a very informative and welcomed information! Thank you.


2 karen Smith November 20, 2009 at 1:17 am

Thanks for being so kind as to take the time to let me know that you enjoyed it. It is funny how the little things that people do to be considerate are not so little after all.
Great joy to you!!!!


3 Hugh Smith December 15, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Wow! This Karen Smith must be some kind of real estate genius or something.

Hugh (Her husband, the beneficiary of her little Angel Self)