First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

There has been a lot of talk (and confusion) about the economic stimulus bill and what it means to home buyers. Who qualifies? What year can I claim the credit? How much of a refund would I get back? What are the criteria to receive the credit? So I'm going to attempt to answer the most common questions about the bill. Keep in mind, I am NOT a tax professional or accountant and always recommend when it comes to your taxes to seek the advice of an accredited tax professional.

That being said, the bill states that first time home buyers can claim a tax credit worth $8,000 OR 10% of the home's value, whichever amount is less. So, if you bought a condominium for $65,000, your tax credit under the bill would be $6,500, not $8,000.


In order to qualify for the credit, the home purchase must be made between January 1st and November 30th of 2009 (so if you buy a home on December 1, 2009 you are not eligible). In addition, there are income restrictions as well. To qualify, a single person must make less than $75,000 a year. Married couples must make under $150,000 a year. However, higher income buyers may receive a partial credit. You must also live in the house purchased for at least three years or you will be required to pay back the credit. The property being purchased can not be owned by a close relative like a parent, grandparent or one of your children. The definition in bill for a first time home buyer is anyone that has not owned a home in the last three years.

Tax Filing

The credit can be claimed on your 2008 or 2009 income taxes. Now as I said you can claim the credit on your 2008 tax filing. If you have already filed them, you can file an amended return to claim the credit if you wish to do so. Based on the feeback we've been getting, the process takes about 12 weeks. Another great thing about the credit it that it is fully refundable, so even if your total tax bill (refund) is less than $8,000 (and you qualify for that amount of a credit), you would still receive the full $8,000 back plus the amount you had overpaid.

For example, John's taxes showed that he had paid $5,000 in taxes over the year. He filed his return and he actually only owed $3,000 in taxes. Normally he would have received a refund of $2,000. But under this bill, he would receive the full $10,000 instead! To claim the credit on your taxes is just a matter of filling out the form, without any additional paperwork involved.

This is a simplified breakdown of the economic stimulus bill. I highly recommend consulting a professional tax service regarding your taxes. You can download the tax form here:

Thank you for reading our real estate blog and feel free to contact us for all of your Las Vegas NV real estate needs.  



Same thing

I got a house in my name in Verona, KY. And what you are saying to us here, after that i got a paper saying i did not provide enough info to qualify, when i sent everything in to them that they requested. So now i Got to get everything ready to go and refile at a tax service.

So you are coming up on two

So you are coming up on two years and still no refund?????!!!!!

I filed for the first time

I filed for the first time home buyers credit in March of 2009, it has been a horrible experience I have sent in what they request only to wait several weeks to receive another letter stating they need more information.
I sent the last information they requested at the end of Nov. 2009 I called in Dec. to ask if they had received it they said yes but it would have to work its way to the top of the list.
I have been nice to everyone I've spoken to some of them have been nice but oh my I have had some very rude people to deal with as well.
The lady I spoke to in Dec. ended up giving me the name of the person who was handeling my return. I asked if I could speak to her and she said she would have her call me. I was shocked when I did received a unknown number, it turned out to be the worker handling my taxes, finally upon talking to her I was able to find out she needed yet more info from me. I think if they would just call it would save them as well as us a lot of time and frustration.
This has been a long ordeal, I was going to give up after the second letter I received saying I had been denied the tax credit, but thankfully I didn't give up because yesterday I called to check on my file and they said I have been approved and that I should have my return in 4 - 6 weeks. They also said I will be receiving interest on my return since they withheld my return.
Good Luck to everyone who is going through all the jumping of the hoops, hang in there and don't give up.

First time nightmare

I closed on my home on December 3, 2009. The IRS stated all homes purchased after November 30, 2009 had to wait for an updated 5405 form to file. They didn't release the form for THREE months. It was released in February 2010. I immediately filed my 2009 return.

I got a letter on June 28 saying that they needed additional info to process my return. (that is 4+ months to simply open my return and start to review it) only to ask for more info! Now they want utility bills, my drivers license and another copy of my HUD1 Statement.

I immediately call because I am frustrated. The rep tells me they already have my HUD 1 statement and to just send in the other requested info and that it will take over 4 weeks for them to even open up the mail and get my info.

A letter arrives dated August 30. It states "We apologize for not being able to review your response dated 7/15/2010. You should expect a response by 9/28/2010

I get a letter on October 18th apologizing for not being able to review my info yet! I should expect a response by 11/07/10

HERE IS THE KICKER! I get a letter in early November stating that my return has been denied due to me not providing the proper documentation and asking me to sign paperwork agreeing with the finding. I immediately call. The rep tells me they don't have my HUD1 report and that it why I was denied. Well, the REP in JUNE told me not to send my HUD1 because they already had it!!!!! This is now November.

I was told I could mail or fax in the HUD 1 and they would review it again (after another 30 days to open the mail!) I chose to FAX this time to save time (right).

I fax in the documentation, I get a confirmation page from the fax machine.

I get a certified Letter on January 4, 2011 that states my case has been closed. My failure to provide the proper information has caused this.

I immediately call back. The rep tells me that they never got my HUD1 fax. that "we get thousands of faxes everyday and there is no way to prove I sent it in". My fax confirmation means nothing. I must write a repeal letter (I was told would be a several month process) or I could refile (and start completely over!)

I closed on my house 14 months ago! Way to dangle a carrot and get people to buy a house. I can't imagine if I really was counting on that money to offset closing cost or had borrowed money expecting to repay.

Have a better story than that?


The only diff in yours and mine is, i bought mine feb. 10, 2010. Still nothing after battle after battle

All these stories are the

All these stories are the same as mine....waiting and waiting, sending more info, waiting, being denied. I finally wrote a letter to the IRS pretty much demanding my home buyer credit, attaching all my paperwork. Within about 4 weeks (give or take), the money was deposited to my account. Then finally a letter arrived a few weeks later stating I did qualify for the credit. They are so backwards...

that is insane!!!!! I am

that is insane!!!!! I am dumbfounded!!!!

Don't give up like I am reading other people are doing. Don't give up...

Call Tax Payer Advocates Office

I am a licensed tax preparer. Call taxpayer advocates office for help. The number is 877-777-4778. Also write your elected representatives. You really got shafted!!!!!

Well i Did Call

Well I have been Dealing with a taxpayer advocate.. and i still been having the run around with this... i was told my check would be in the mail Friday (3-25-2011), after a week passing by and not recieving anything i called allday yestersday, finally getting a call back today, to find out something went wrong, so it went in the mail this morning (4-5-2011) so until i recieve i guess th only think i can do is keep calling everyday all day!!!





Filed in Oct.

I am so sad to hear about everyones displeasure and disappointment with the first time home buyer tax credit. I am now truly scared I might never recieve the money and I bought my first house as an investment for my new wife daughter and our baby on the way. I filed back in Oct. and have called literrally every week since dec. to get an update. Called yesterday and it was sent somewhere else for review and they said it could be another 30 to 45 days on that day. I really need this money for fees and considering I owe my father $4000 of this money he loaned me for the house. I am now going to contact a tax payer advocate to speed this up.

Don't Bother

The Tax Payer Advocate Service has done NOTHING for me that I wasn't able to do myself. They would get the same info to me after I had already squeezed it out of the IRS. They are part of the IRS so trust me - they don't really "fight" for you. Contacting your local congressman may help. I filed mine in June 2010 - and NO - I still do not have it. They kept giving me the run around again and again. Finally in December I get a letter asking for proof of address, etc. From reading other people's posts I sent MORE than what they asked for just to be safe (the HUD I form again, copy of my license, multiple utility bills, a mortgage statement, proof of homeowner's insurance, car registration, etc.). I just received a letter today (Feb 22) saying they have finally approved it and it will take another 6-8 WEEKS!!! for me to receive it. So unreal! Good Luck!

Still waiting....

The road is even longer im afraid. We meet ALL the qualifications, bought our house back in march of '09 and we are still waiting. The latest is that they told me that they closed the case for "reasons other than listed" back in march of '10. We never received a letter or anything. Well this past summer I went down to the IRS office here in LV, and I was told to re-open the case. I did, then received a letter saying wait another 45 days. I called today (a month after the last 45 days was up) and I was told to re-open my case again. what surprised me this time though, is that the agent said "well at this point you can either wash your hands of the case completely, or re-open the case again. WTF! wash my hands of it! are you kidding me! this was one of the reasons we bought a house. I don't know what else to do except wait some more. And I am not getting a tax advocate to split the money 3 ways between him and my wife and I. grrrrr


Why do people gotta check where you get your money from when you buy a house??? I mean if we have the money to pay it all at once why do they still have to check where we got our money from??? This is why some people can never get their house because they be checking on where the money come from. Hello people there is a thing call savings. I know people that have been saving up their money for a long time just so they can buy a house but guess what these damn people be tearing their dream down because they need prove of where they got their money from.

But yeah please explain why. So i can tell this sweet old lady why she can't buy a house even when she have the money to pay it all at once.

27 weeks and no check

Lord have mercy..this was one of the worst experiences I've ever had. I purchased home on June 24, submitted all my proper paperwork on July 3rd. After calling every week since 16 weeks I was told that I had interest in 2007 and they wouldn't be releasing my check unless I could prove I was not a homeowner in 2007. Well in fact I was a homeowner in 2007, but sold my house June 19, 2007 which quallifies me as a first time homebuyer (3 years without owning a home). I had to call and get a taxpayer advocate who I had to fax documents to proving I did not own a home 3 year prior to my purchase.

It's January 10th and I still haven't received my tax credit. This week will be 27 weeks. Word to the wise...get a tax advocate to speed up the process if you need some help communicating with the IRS.

And by the worst experience was speaking to an IRS rep who told me there were only 4 weeks in a month and I need to wait for 4 months to the day before I start calling. I had to set her strait and tell her there are actually 4.5 weeks in a month so 16 weeks would fall short of 4 months...she still wasn't buying it. I wish I could have reached through the phone and handed her a calender so she could have counted the weeks like an elementary student.

round 2 Keeping the faith with a little patience

We just sent in our return for the second time. We first filed back in November of 10 and finally after 45 days I called to check the status and the agent said it was denied but could not tell me why. I waited another 30 days for this denial letter and still no word. I called the IRS back and spoke to another agent (who was very helpful) and we both agreed it was best to just file it again. This time, after reading many of the posts on this site, I decided I would include military orders, copies of Military and drivers licenses Identification cards, social securiity cards, home owners policy, utility bills, even the initial contracts for the home along with the required tax documents. Basically I left no stone unturned. I even went as far as paying 93 dollars at H&R Block to get the taxes redone. (be careful with that, because they all don't know what the heck they are doing) I am confident that this will work. There is one thing I agree with, you must be nice to these agents on the phone, they are just assigned to check your records and probably didnt play a part in your denial or mishap with the adjustment. I will wait another three weeks and check again. If this fails I will get a tax advocate. I just realize, like most of you, I was hoping to get this money and pay off some bills and take my wife somewhere on a short get away. It will happen. We just need to hang in there and unfortunately give them the info they need. I do understand the frustration and anger that some of you feel. I hope it eventually works out for all of us. I am only 3 months into it.

IRS No Honor!!!!

OMG, And I thought I was the only one. We purchased the house in March 2010 and still have not received the check. Instead I received letters requesting more documents. This is a joke and they are the one that are looking really bad!!!


Neither the money they promised.....

1st time Home Buyer's Credit Qs

I only have a question ... does anyone know if I only rent one of my rooms out and the house is still my primary residence and i still live here (with a roommate), do i still need to pay IRS back?


1. If you have to payback? Yes you do.
2. "does anyone know if I only rent one of my rooms out and the house is still my primary residence and i still live here (with a roommate)"? If you financing your home using FHA loan you cannot rent your home or part of your home. If you financing by conventional loan then renting will no problem, I believe still can claim your FTHBC.

room for rent and credit

you do not have to pay the credit back if your rent a room. If you read the instructions closely is says if you convert the ENTIRE property for rent. Not just a room. So with that being said as long as its your primary residence you can rent a room out and not pay the credit back. Dont read too hard into it, its right there.


I don't see why it is taking you guys so long to get the money. I bought my house in March and I got the check after 9 weeks.... So Sorry this is happening to you guys! We went up to H&R Block and mailed off everything they needed! Hope you get your money SOON!!!!!

FTHB Tax Credit Received

After reading so many responses about people having problem after problem with the tax credit, I was getting worried about mine. Mostly worried that I would never receive it. From start to finish it took less than 8 weeks. I filed an amended 1040X return for 2009 (house purchased in May of 2010, under contract in April), sent all the recommended paperwork and received the statement from the IRS saying we would be receiving the money in the mail within 2-3 weeks. The letter came one day, the IRS check the next. The IRS received the amended return on Nov. 20, the check came Dec. 28, 2010. Oh yeah, we got a couple hundred bucks in interest tacked on to it as well. Not sure what we did do get it back so quick but hey, I'm not complaining!

Hang in there, it will come....eventually....

What if I end up getting

What if I end up getting transferred out of town for work? Do I have to pay the full $8,000 back in full or how does that work?


I bought my house in March 2009. I filed the correct forms with my 2009 taxes in April. I attached the HUD statement signed by both parties and notarized. Since then, they have asked for proof of residency (I sent DL and paystub). I received a letter stating the credit was approved. Then I got another letter this month stating the credit was not approved. They want the settlement papers AGAIN.... AND they want copies of my mortgage statement!! Where in the rules does it say I need to provide this?? I have a private mortgage so they want a cancelled check from one of my recent mortgage payments. Can't imagine what they will come up with next. The letter states I can ignore the request if I agree with their decision to deny my claim. Of course they say that - they hope I will "just go away". This is the same as the cash for clunkers - ask any dealership how difficult it was to get refunded. Independent groups determined that the cash for clunkers actually cost tax payers about $16,000 per transaction. You know why? So government flunkies can work 9-4PM and draw a bigger paycheck on average than you while losing paperwork and slowing down the process!

Now up to 8 months...

I filed an amended 2009 return at the very beginning of June 2010. In late September, I got a request for supporting documents, so I sent in a copy of my driver's license, mortgage statement and bank statement. I received several letters, all to the effect of "we're not finished yet, but we'll get back to you by X date." The next date rolled around and another letter appeared with the next anticipated communication date.

Then I received a letter in November, saying that the IRS expected to be DONE with my "review" by December 18. I called on Dec. 16 and was told it was still in process.
On Dec. 29, I received another letter. Now, they've given themselves an extension until January 27, 2011...just in time for federal tax returns to come rolling in, so I expect my money will be delayed even longer.

We don't *need* the money, but I *want* it. When I decided to buy last year, that incentive was a good one. I'm still glad we have our house, of course, but I was told to expect a check within 16 weeks and it looks like I'm going to be waiting DOUBLE that.

The IRS should have been more prepared than they were. I understand being extra careful because of all of the lovely people that committed fraud with this credit, but come on! Hire some extra people to get this stuff taken care of.

What can we do about this?

Who can we complain to? This is a serious failure on the part of the IRS. Think of all the money that could be pouring back into the economy. Especially just after the holidays that just passed. I know I would have spent more on Christmas if I had that money. So what do we do?

10 months and Still waiting

I build a house instead of buying one in a county that does not require permits. So needless to say they keep asking for more documentation and verification, which supposedly starts the process over every time....which I think is ridiculous by the way.....So long story short, the money I was counting on to pay construction bills still isn't here and is now sitting on credit cards waiting the IRS the way, why can 13,000 imprisioned people get the credit, but I can't?

I agree with you! But your

I agree with you! But your question should be; HOW, "can 13,000 imprisoned people get the credit, but I can't?" Instead of "why?" I would even like to know HOW something like this is even possible?

First Time Home Buyer's Credit

I'd be very interested to see an investigative news story on just how badly the First Time Home Buyer's Credit has gone. If you search the web you will see that there are hundreds and hundreds of people out there who filed for their FTHB credit a year or more ago and have yet to receive it. My husband and I are one of those hundreds.

People have complied, sent, faxed, resent and faxed requested documentation to the IRS only to be met with 'Your case is under review. You will hear from us within 30 days'...and then not get a word from them. As for us, we've had little correspondence from the IRS and each time when we have, the letter tells us we owe them money (NOT the case, our tax preparer has verified this several times) or else a check out of the clear blue from a previous tax year has shown up. The explanation is that we overpaid on previous taxes. Months later (today), we got a letter that again says we owe them because they overpaid us.

In the mean time, it's nearly impossible to get a live person to speak with or who knows what is going on there since there are so many divisions.
There is much speculation that there isn't enough government money to pay for these credits and that the IRS has to wait for income tax returns to come in in order to pay for the credits.

This coming February will be exactly 1 year since we've filed for our credit. I'd be curious to see if ours arrives or if we'll be forced through more hoops and be strung along.
It's all very frustrating and unfair.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Dear all,

I have been reading this forum for months... I would like to share with you that we bough our house on 11/30/2008 and filed for the credit the following week... 2 days ago we finally got out check with over $500.00 in interest... all in, it took more than a year and endless calls to the IRS. After our case was sent to the examination dpt back in September the IRS referred us to a tax advocate.... who after 4 moths I honestly though was not getting us anywhere... during my last frustrated phone call to them I was even told with sarcasm "why don't you call Obama?".... but we finally got it... so do not give up!


I am in the same boat as most of you. I Filed my claim the end of June, and they were very quick to turn around and tell me i had been denied the credit due to improper documentation. I filed the correct documents, immediately, and have been waiting since mid summer. I have called multiple times, only for them to tell me that we received your paperwork, but its basically sitting in a pile somewhere. I finally called December 7th, and they told me it had been pulled by the examination department for review, and it could be up to another 45 days. This is ridiculous. I am waiting another month, then considering the help of a taxpayer advocate. There has got to be a better way.

I believe it - I sold a home

I believe it - I sold a home I had owned for 30 years and bought a new one in another state. Seven months later I am still waiting for my credit. They have contacted me twice and said give us 30 more days for a reply. Now they have said January 16. How crazy - how would they react if we were taking that long to file taxes.

Sorry, but I don't believe

Sorry, but I don't believe you qualify. If you owned during 2006 or later, you cannot qualifty for the credit. That's one of the main rules.

They want me to Pay it Back!!

My wife and I purchased a home in Jan.2009..but filed for the credit on our 2008 taxes so we could get the return right away. We got the Money.. Congress were still tinkering with the Bill and made it so that any home purchased after 2009 was free and clear and didn't have to pay the money back. Well after endless time on the phone explaning that we purchased our home in 2009 but filed on our 2008 taxes and sending in all the appropriate documents after the fact ..and even getting a letter in return stating we did in fact qualify and we no longer have to pay anything back.. The IRS just sent me ANOTHER letter yesterday stating the we DO still have to pay for the FTHB credit.. This is now getting to the point of harrasment!! They just seem sooo confused about this whole process.. I've filed a complaint with my states Att. Gerneral.. Hopfully this can be resoved before I have to send in my Taxes for 2010

Same thing happened to us

We bought in January of 2009 and filed with our 2008 taxes and received the refund. They sent us a noticed saying we purchased in 2008 and owe them money. WTF!

We had the same problem as

We had the same problem as this, we bought our house got the credit on our 2008 taxes and now we have to pay it back, this is rediculous, I have been trying to fight it, i tried to even have my taxes undone and then for them to redo them, which is what my sister and law did and now she does not have to pay it back, but we still do.This is unfair and not right, im still waiting to see if this is something we can have fixed

I am in the same boat. The

I am in the same boat. The IRS wants me to repay the FTHB credit for my home that I bought in Feb of 2009 and took on my 2008 tax return.

If you purchased the home in

If you purchased the home in 2009, you are REQUIRED to repay the credit. Did you do any research on this before you bought?


good grief doe anyone know of a number to call to check on the housing rebate for 2009 new homeowners?


A number to call is 18008291040. Press 2, then 1, then 4, then 2, enter you SSN# on your tax return and stay on hold until they answer. It can take a little bit but someone will answer. Hope this helps you. I just got off the phone with them today and found out they are mailing my check Friday. Its been 3 months since I filed for the amendment. The process can be lengthy but try to hang in there you will get your money. Best of luck to you and Happy New Year.

# to call

IRS # 78008291954 or to contact a tax advocate 1877774778. Good luck though. I have been waiting 18 weeks plus with no end in sight.

I want to cry...

This all just makes we want to cry. We are at 17 weeks and "waiting the 30 days for a response to our inquiry" . We filed end of July. We have heard nothing.. no letter, no call, no check. If it takes longer than 16 weeks then the IRS needs to be more honest. Now when we call the call center the message is "wait time longer than 15 minutes". I don't have the patience, or stomach, to sit on hold that long. Now I find myself searching for other frustrated tax payers like me to comiserate with. I dont know what I will do if I start getting the response of more information or paperwork is needed. This is such a joke. This tax refund promise was dangled in front of us to encourage spending, and by doing so reward us with this great tax credit so we can stimulate the economy more. Well we cant do that till we get the money in our hands!!! And someone posted a good question... will we get taxed on this refund next year? What bitter irony!!! Maybe if we do we should all put the IRS off for 7 months requesting they send proof that we actually received this refund (and make them send the copies 3 times). Those of you who received your check in 4-6 weeks... QUIT POSTING HERE! IT DOES NOT HELP! IT HURTS!

I feel your pain. We

I feel your pain. We finally gave up. We called, and sent stuff in, and waited, and called, and sent more stuff, and waited. Who has the time to spend 45 minutes on the phone waiting to talk to the IRS...but we did more times than I'd care to count. We bought in the summer of 2009 (this was at a time when they were handing out rebates to the fraudulent ones like candy...we sent in the right paperwork, required at the time, but didn't get our refund.) They changed the type of paperwork needed, so we sent more stuff in, called and talked to an advocate, and by the time the summer of 2010 rolled around we were sent a rejection letter. The reason didn't make sense because we definitely qualified for the money, but it just wasn't worth the hassle (fortunately we were in a situation where we didn't have to have the money)....but I have nothing but empathy for those who are going through the "hassle" of dealing with this government boondoggle. Here's the clincher...they sent a big envelope with papers to sign to confirm we didn't qualify for our refund. We wouldn't sign them, just quit pursuing the issue. It'll be interesting to see if they hold up our refund this year because we haven't sent back in the "paperwork" they sent.

Just got my refund in 3 wks...with interest??

I honestly feel bad having read some of the postings here and it's not my intention to be mean in posting about my own experience, which is confusing even to me. Anyway, we settled our first home purchase in June 2010, and I sort of waited with the paperwork until Nov. to finally get down to file an amended 2009 return for the $8K FTHB credit and sent it in on Dec. 9. I certainly didn't expect to receive my refund check on Jan. 4, 2011, and I was even more surprised to see that there was an additional $204 for interest. I happen to come across the postings here because I was trying to figure out why I got interest, which I think I might actually have to claim as income when I file my 2010 taxes in a few weeks. Honestly, I don't know how I got so lucky to get my check so quickly, but I really think some people have gotten a raw deal, and I do hope that you get your homebuyer credit refund checks soon...and with interest, too!

I feel your pain...afraid

I feel your pain...afraid you are in for a long wait....bought my place Jan 31 2010. Filed in March......received nothing to date except for a letter in the beginning of December (practically a year later!) saying they need to proof that I actually live here!!!! It's a crock...I had to RESEND documents and now they say it will be 8-12 weeks more.....THis is what I think: They DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY to pay out this credit and they are waiting until after Jan 2011 when people start paying in on taxes owed. Frustrating because YOU KNOW that if you owe the IRS there is no delaying in paying them....and they answer to noone. Don't bother calling about your credit as it only fuels the anger...RUDE RUDE reps!



just an update....March 21

just an update....March 21 2011 and still waiting:(

I have been waiting on the

I have been waiting on the refund for over 2 years. The IRS has come up with all kinds of different excuses to avoid giving up our refund. At first it started out that we didn't send in the proper paperwork. Then it was that we had owned a home before. Which I have never owned a home before this one. The one that they said we owned was a mobile home park where we rented a home for several years. Then it got to where they were loosing or misplacing the information I was sending. So I had to start sending it through certified mail. They said they didn't get those either. But I got the receipt back where someone signed for the letter. I don't know where we will be going from here.?? Still waiting. I wish there was someone I could file a complaint with on this. If anyone knows of where I can try to get something done about this I would greatly appreciate it.

Get a tax advocate, I wont

Get a tax advocate, I wont waist your time with the details but just do it. They can get it done for you very quickly, I promise!

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