- The $8,000 tax credit is for first-time home buyers only. For the tax credit program, the IRS defines a first-time home buyer as someone who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase.
- The tax credit does not have to be repaid unless the home is sold or ceases to be used as the buyer’s principal residence within three years after the initial purchase.
- The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.
- The tax credit applies only to homes priced at $800,000 or less.
- The tax credit now applies to sales occurring on or after January 1, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010. However, in cases where a binding sales contract is signed by April 30, 2010, a home purchase completed by June 30, 2010 will qualify.
- For homes purchased on or after January 1, 2009 and on or before November 6, 2009, the income limits are $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.
- For homes purchased after November 6, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010, single taxpayers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000 qualify for the full tax credit
The IRS has spelled out guidelines for eligibility for the home buyer credit when co-borrowers purchase a property.
When a home-owning parent of an adult child co-signs for a mortgage and both names appear on the note, the IRS says that under some circumstances, the first-time home buyer can qualify for the whole amount.
The IRS says the parent doesn’t qualify for any portion of the credit, but if the child hasn’t owned a home during the three years preceding the current purchase and can qualify based on income, he or she can be allocated the entire $8,000 credit.
When unmarried individuals co-purchase a home and only one of them is eligible for the credit, then the full $8,000 can be allocated to the eligible buyer.
Source: Washington Post Writers Group, Kenneth R. Harney (12/04/2009