Update (11/10/09): The $8000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers was extended through April 30, 2010 and more people are included, including a $6500 tax credit offered to homebuyers who have lived in their current residence at least five years and who want to “trade up” (buy a new primary residence).


Original post:

President Obama just signed the economic stimulus package in Denver, CO which includes a gift for first time homebuyers– $8,000 (or 10% of the home’s value, whichever is less) on their 2008 or 2009 taxes.

Here’s the skinny, from CNN:

  • Refundable: The credit is refundable, meaning tax filers see a refund of the full $8,000 even if their total tax bill – the amount of withholding they paid during the year- was less than that amount.
  • Purchase Date: To qualify for the credit, the purchase must be made between Jan. 1, 2009 and Nov. 30, 2009. Buyers may not have owned a primary home (lived in it) for the past three years to qualify as “first time” buyer. They must also live in the house as their primary residence  for at least three years, or they will be obligated to pay back the credit.
  • Paperwork: Applying for the credit will be easy – or at least as easy as doing your income taxes. Just claim it on your return. No other forms or papers have to be filed. Taxpayers who have already completed their returns can file amended returns for 2008 to claim the credit.
  • Income Restrictions: To qualify, buyers must make less than $75,000 for singles or $150,000 for couples. (Higher-income buyers may receive a partial credit.)

Have questions about the $8,000 tax credit? Ask ‘em in Zillow Advice.

Do you qualify for the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit?

Answer these questions to see if you qualify for the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit. Or, if you have a Web site or blog, add the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit widget to your site. It’s free and fun content to keep your visitors engaged, plus you get free co-branding.

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  • Steve

    My wife has owned her home for eight years now and we have both been living there. I am not on the title or the mortgage of that home. Recently, I purchased a new home but she is not on the title or the mortgage of that one. We do file taxes jointly. Would we be eligible for the 6500 tax credit?

  • Stepho

    No. You would not be because you are married. You did not upgrade nor are you a first time home buyer as defined by Congress.

  • josh

    i still have not gotten my 8000 90 days after it was sent over to the review where all the home refunds go. I spoke to the irs June 5 and they red flagged it to get it completed quicker, said I should get it by july 5th, if i do not get it by the 5th, they said they will assign me a tax advocate.

    any help???

  • Stepho

    You must owe some money to IRS.

  • Pam

    I have been waiting since Feb. 3. I have only been told that it’s taking a long time to complete them.
    You have gotten further than I have. I’m thinking of calling the tax advocate. This is ridiculous!

  • Jennie

    Does anyone know if the 8000.00 been extended?

  • Thomas

    I think that this is amazing that government is doing to stimulate real estate sales, it would be better if they would increase the refundable amount.

  • matt

    I am like some of you I jumped through hoops to get to this point and now I may miss out on 6500 i not only had to rent out my house now i might not close. NOT OK

  • Eric C

    Yes this is a wonderful Government we live in I bought my house in February of 2008 Paid more for my house, a higher interest rate and i got nothing! You people should be happy you get what they give you while the people like me get stiffed!

  • Stepho

    We had no problems with the 8k credit. As long as you did it before deadlines and did not owe any back taxes, you should be fine.

  • SRob

    My husband and I hired a contractor and secured a construction loan in August of 2009 to build a home. We have not owned a home in over three years. We have a signed proposal from our contractor and a signed promisory note from the bank for the construction loan. We are set to close on the new home on 6/30/10 with a mortgage. Do we qualify for the $8,000 tax credit? What documents must I provided to the IRS? I don’t have a so called “sales contract” as I hired a contractor, but I do have the construction loan documents. We will have a settlement statement dated 6/30/10, but it will show as a refi due to the mortgage company is paying off our construction loan. Help!!!! I’m not sure what documentation to provide or if we even qualify at this point.

  • Stepho

    You do not send anything. What you do is file an amendment form on your taxes when you settle. You can find that form on software (tax) if you have it. Or talk to your accountant.

    To claim the credit on your own, you must fill out a form called 5405. Go to the fed website :

    Go to these pages and send in to government after you amend your taxes.

  • Julia

    From the research that I did on this, I was under the assumption that you get the tax credit only if you’ve never owned a house before. There could be some loopholes though. Hope this helps. Hopefully someone else will have some insightful input.

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  • Rita

    I just received my $6500 tax rebate!!!!! It only took 5 weeks after I amended my 2009 return.

  • Rita

    The documents that my tax preparer sent in was HUD settlement statement(received at closing), copy of my vehicle registration ,copy of driver’s license, proof of homerowner’s insurance, bank statement, water bill, electric bill, mortgage statement.(all with new address). Amended return with form 5405.

  • Authentic Handbag

    Have read through the comments, but havent found the answer. I wonder if I can buy the house and then rent it out? Or will I have to occupy the house myself? Thanks in advance.

  • Doris E.Hayward

    I refinanced a joing.owned house(my daughter and myself) and brought another house for my youngest daughter and now they won’t let me refinance my 10.875% because i dont live in the house that i refinanced.

  • Foto Bugil

    I want received my $6500, but i’m confused..BTW, thanks for this topic, nice…

  • suemarie

    Can someone please help me out?? I have been scrolling thru the responses to see if this was already answered but.. didnt find it.

    had contracts signed before April 30th 2010, settled on Aug. 26th 2010. Can I file this on my up coming tax return for 2010 in Jan. 2011??

    thanks so much!!!

  • Stephanie

    I just built and purchased my first house. It was under new construction from March 17- June 10th, 2010. It is a $118,000 home 2,250 sq ft. 3 bedrooms and with walk in closets, a loft, 2 living rooms, a huge dinning room and a large kitchen with a 2 car attached garage.My interest rate is 4.95%. I did recieve the 8,000 tax credit along with the 7,500 down payment assistance from the Government. I went to file my mortgage exemption and they told me I couldn’t because I was only 20 years old! They let me buy this house and put 15% down and gave me a great day then value my property at $204,000 with all the land and everything now they wont let me claim a mortgage exemption on it? Does anyone know why? Please help! I am making my payments on time and the house is only in my name. Any suggestions?

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    for his first home in the past three years. The information is pouring over the details, reporting to Zillow here CNN reporting I wonder if I can get information for this conference. It’ll be more helpful if you can give me more details or contacts.

  • Whitney

    Here’s some tips I wanted to share too about getting your ducks in a row before buying a home:

  • Rodney @ home building guide

    I think a new program is on the horizon for 2011. We’ll see – it’s certainly needed.

  • Will

    I bought my home before April 30th 2010. I did an amended tax return in November 2010. Will I still get the 8k tax credit? If so will that be added to my 2010 tax return?

  • Tommy

    We received the 2008 first time home owner credit. In 2010 we had to file bankruptcy. Do we have to pay the credit back?

  • Cassandra

    On my 2009 taxes I was able to take advantage of $8000 1st homebuyers Credit. In 2010 I earned less than $1000. Is it substantial enough to file a return?

  • Pingback: Use your $8000 tax credit for your down payment! | Paul Pival

  • Dannon

    Just filed our taxes. We closed on our house on December 31, 2008. Pushed for a speedy closing so the bank could get this property off their books for the fiscal year. We got the Home Buyers credit in March. Then find out in April that if we had closed ONE DAY LATER we wouldn’t have to repay. I wanted to throw up. Actually, almost 2 years later I am still gagging at the thought.

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  • kirkland real estate

    Just filed our taxes. We closed on our house on December 31, 2008. Pushed for a speedy closing so the bank could get this property off their books for the fiscal year. We got the Home Buyers credit in March. Then find out in April that if we had closed ONE DAY LATER we wouldn’t have to repay. I wanted to throw up. Actually, almost 2 years later I am still gagging at the thought.

  • Pingback: $8,000 First-time Homebuyer Tax Credit Ends Soon — Better Get Moving! | Zillow Blog

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