Expansion of First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit for the Bay Area's home buyers-

Recessions hit us all differently.  Al Capone once complained that hard times forced him to lay off 4 judges and 2 Congressmen. In this case the rescission is benefiting you if you’re a first time home buyer. The Stimulus package that was recently signed by President Obama did include tax credits that will benefit the Bay Area housing market. Here is a brief synopsis of the Tax Credit for First time home buyers.

The tax credit available to first time home buyers was increased from $7,500 to $8,000 for homes purchased between January 1, 2009, and December 1, 2009. Also, the credit no longer needs to be paid back as long as you live in the home without selling it for at least 3 years.

The previous version of the credit expired on July 1, 2009, and required home buyers to pay the funds back over a 15 year time frame.

The income limitations remain the same ($75,000 for single tax payers claiming the full credit and $150,000 for married tax payers), as do most other qualification requirements. Also, the credit remains refundable. This means that first-time home buyers who owe less than $8,000 in taxes for the year are still eligible for the full $8,000 credit when they file their tax returns. In that case, the IRS will write you a check for the difference between $8,000 and your actual tax bill. In fact, the credit can be claimed on your 2008 tax returns that you file by April 15, 2009, even if you buy the home in 2009.

There is one catch, however: if you bought the home in 2008, the credit remains $7,500, and it still needs to be paid back over a 15 year timeframe beginning in 2011 when you file your 2010 returns.

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