First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

At this point, it doesn’t seem as if a homebuyer tax credit extension is on the horizon. However, while the original deadline has passed there are still some groups that remain eligible for the extension through 2011. These groups include active members of the Armed Forces and certain federal employees who are currently working outside of the US. These groups have another year to purchase a primary residence to qualify for the tax credit. They face deadlines of April 30, 2011 for entering into a sales contract with settlement of the purchase to be completed by June 30, 2011.

Filing your Taxes, what you need to know:

You’ve decided to purchase a home and take advantage of the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit. Here's what you have to do to get your benefit:

  1. Close on your home purchase between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010, or have a binding written contract in place by April 30, 2010 with a closing date no later than June 30, 2010.
  2.  Decide whether to: 
    • apply the credit to your 2009 tax return, filed on or before April 15, 2010;
    •  file an amended 2009 return; or, 
    • apply the credit on your 2010 return, filed on or before April 15, 2011.
  3. Attach documentation of purchase to your return.

Documentation of Purchase

For more information on claiming the credit and on the documentation required for your 2009 or 2010 returns, see the IRS’s First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Questions and Answers.

When to Apply the Credit

Buyers purchasing homes on or before December 31, 2009 may claim the credit on their 2009 tax returns.

Buyers purchasing in 2010 will have the option to:

  •  Claim the credit on their 2009 return, even if the purchase is completed after December 31, 2009;
  •  File an amended return for 2009 if their purchase is completed after April 15, 2010; or,
  •  Claim the credit on their 2010 tax returns.

If you, or your client, purchased a home between January 1, 2009 and November 6, 2009, please see: How to Get the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

Applying the Credit to Your 2009 Taxes

You will need to do three things to claim the credit on your 2009 tax return:

  1. Fill out Form 5405 to determine the amount of your available credit;
  2. Apply the credit when you file your 2009 tax return or file an amended return;
  3. Attach documentation of purchase to your return or amended return.

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