$8000 Tax Credit for Home Buyers
Unexpected, unusual and great to take advantage of is the $8000 tax credit. You are eligible if you are a first time homebuyer or have not owned a principal residence in the last three years. This is an $8000 gift from the federal government. If you qualify and buy a home while the program is available, you'll get $8000 back with your tax credit. If your adjusted gross income is more than $75,000 (or $150,000 for joint filers), then your credit will begin to shrink, depending upon your income. Also, the tax credit is for $8000 OR 10% of the sales price (if you buy a home worth less than $80,000 then you'll get a credit of 10% of that price).
There is a clock ticking on this credit. Your purchase has to be completed within January 1st, 2009 to November 30th, 2009. You will receive the tax credit after you buy your home. You can't use it for a down payment or other closing costs. But, for example, if you close on a house next month, you can file an amended tax return and get the $8000 right away. You do not have to wait until next year!
The tax credit is available for principal home purchases throughout the United States but is only for primary residences (not vacation property). The Administration and Congress created the tax credit to motivate buying and get the economy rolling again. Approximately 30 years ago during another economic downturn, the government offered $2000 tax credits and it helped get the economy back on tract at that time. An extra $8000 can really mean a lot to people all across the country.
P.S. Don't forget - allow 30 to 60 days to finalize your home purchase before the November 30th deadline.