Tax Credit Deadline: What You Need to Know

Learn the details of the extended tax credit for first-time and move-up home buyers, which runs until April 30, 2010.

March 1, 2010

What You Need to Know

As part of its plan to stimulate the U.S. housing market, Congress last fall approved the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit. This extended the deadline for the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit from Nov. 30, 2009, to April 30, 2010, and expanded it to include repeat buyers.

What’s the deadline?

To qualify, first-time and repeat buyers must have a binding written contract by April 30 and close by July 1.

How much money is available?

The maximum allowable credit for first-time home buyers is $8,000. The maximum for repeat buyers, also referred to in the legislation as "long-time residents," is $6,500.

What properties are eligible?

The Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit may be applied to primary residences, including single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops.

How do buyers get the benefit?

Buyers can apply the credit to their 2009 tax return, filed on or before April 15, 2010; file an amended 2009 return; or apply the credit on their 2010 return, filed on or before April 15, 2011.

Who qualifies?

To qualify as a first-time home buyer, the purchaser or his or her spouse may not have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase. To qualify as a repeat buyer, current home owners must have used the home being sold or vacated as a principal residence for five consecutive years within the last eight.

Are there income limits?

The new law raises the income limits for people who purchase homes after Nov. 6, 2009. The full credit will be available to taxpayers with modified adjusted gross incomes up to $125,000, or $225,000 for joint filers. Those with MAGI between $125,000 and $145,000—or $225,000 and $245,000 for joint filers—are eligible for a reduced credit. Those with higher incomes do not qualify.