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.  



Refund received in about 5 weeks

I filed an amendment to my 2009 taxes for the house credit on February 22,2010 and I receive my check in the mail on March 29,2010. I mailed in a copy of my HUD settlement form to show proof of purchase and a schedule L form along with my amending form. I mailed mine to the Atlanta office. I was not even expecting a check so quickly after reading about so many taking a long time to get the checks. I was so happy to see it in the mail so soon!

Tax Refund

Thats wonderful!! I sent mines in March 3, 2010 and they told me the check will be in the mail on April 23, 2010. As long as you send all of your needed paperwork, everything will be fine (I hope)!

Good for you! I mailed in my

Good for you! I mailed in my amended return on November 1, 2009 and I have yet to recieve a check. I call weekly and I am told they are running behind and it could be an additional 60 days before they start to review my amended return. I am very disappointed in the process. Consider yourself lucky!!!

homebuyers credit

Someone said we won't get this until next year. Was glad to see your post. Thanks, Sheila

I got a letter stating I

I got a letter stating I would get a check in 6-8 weeks...Does it really take them that long to cut a check???

Where is my refund?

I sort-of have a similar situation here. My difference is that we battled the wonderful roller coaster ride of buying a home, and 2 1/2 months later after signing the P&S we closed on December 8, 2009. Now I didn't file any paper work with the IRS or anything like that right after we closed, my husband and I just went in on March 6th to an H&R Block and filed our 2009 taxes and had to pay over $200 because it was an "itemized" file due to the home purchase. Now I live in Mass. (the wonderful state of taking everyones money) and already got my Mass refund back. (That took a week) however here we are April 14th and we're STILL waiting on the Fed refund which is where the 8k comes into play. What is taking them so long?

I keep checking the "where's my refund" link on the IRS website and it keeps saying that they "can't give us any information at this time...check back in a week"

I like everyone else could use this refund...

btw- we filed with direct we're not waiting on the post office to mail us a check or anything like that.

I filed in March. Sent all

I filed in March. Sent all needed papers in. End of May I get a letter stating that they need more info. The same info I already sent in. I am pretty pissed as I will lose my home if this 8k does not come soon as it was pledged as my down payment.

Bye the way.... The home buyer tax credit is sent as a check not direct deposited per three different people at the irs return hotline.

$6500.00 credit

I filed my $6500.00 tax credit with my 2009 tax returns and mailed them off in earlly to mid February. I was not anticipating getting the money anytime soon after reading some of the posts on here but was pleasantly suprised to receive my refund and tax credit on April 9. I had the money direct deposited in my bank account.

To the person stating they

To the person stating they received their $6500 FTHBC quickly and direct deposited - that's a crock. You can't have the first time home buyer credit direct deposited.

where do you get the

where do you get the ammendment form to send in?


I mailed mines in March 4, 2010 and I called yesterday and they told me that I should get my check in 2-3 weeks. She said that as long as you include your HUD statement, you should be good to go!!!

10 months later...

We filed out amended 2008 return in August 2009, had to resend it in October 2009(IRS "lost" it and then found it, but asked us to send another copy), we then got audited because we bought a condo and apparently this is a "red flag" b/c as per the IRS most first time homebuyers don't buy condos (apparently they've never been the NYC area). We will receive our check this month (April 2010) plus $306 in interest. It has almost been 10 months, from start to finish.
Some tips if you are filing your return (or amended return): try to include a copy of your HUD statement, as well as a copy of the deed/title of your property and copies of bills that show your address (car insurance card, car registration, copy of drivers license, copy of utility bill). As per the IRS these supporting documents are helpful to prove residency (as you have to live in the home you purchased in order to receive the credit). Including these documents the first time around may prevent you from being audited and having to wait almost 10 months to receive your check.
Good Luck!

Update on Refund

Finally got a live person on the telephone at the IRS about my amended return. said it was denied and had no info on why. she said I would get a letter within 8 weeks. what a crock. She said I could appeal and or submit anymore requested after I recieve the letter. I doubt I will get the refund this year either. IRS needs to be abolished and replaced with a flat tax payroll deducted with no deductions or paperwork required unless your self employed. The right hand really doesn't have a clue what the left hand is doing. With todays computer technology there is no excuse for not having info available to any IRS employee to let them know whats happening.

Filed an amended return on

Filed an amended return on February 17 (paper form of course). Didn't hear anything back. Called the IRS today and will be getting the credit on Friday. I'm astonished at how quickly I'm getting it back, especially after reading some of the other stories.

that's great you got your

that's great you got your taxes back so fast, i sent mine in 2/2/2010 and it took 8 weeks to finally show up as received. i was told on numerous occasions that they have now 6-8 to show as being received. its been 10 weeks and now they are telling me its going to be here on April 27 if they dont find any errors. i wish i would have listened to my mortgage guy who tried to get me to use that credit instantly on my down payment, which you can. Im just tired of the run around and the waiting.

At Last

38 weeks later and I received my refund. Unbelievable. $294.05 in interest (that I have to pay taxes on next year.) $294 has to be close to a record for this thing.

9 months later and it arrived today

Hi Everyone,

Just hang in there. I closed my condo on 6/12/2009 and amended my 2008 return in mid July; and my check finally arrived today after constant calls to the IRS and finally working with a taxpayer advocate that was assigned to me.

houseing credit

who did you call i still have not got mine its been 5 months

Can somebody tell me...

I'm aware this amdenment stuff is going to take forever.. All I really want to know is if they received my paperwork? I filed February ... and just need to know a yes or no they have it. I'm at a loss who to call. If I call the IRS directly, it keeps referring me to my original Tax Return amount not the amendment.. so I'm unsure if that means they didn't get it.. or the system doesn't read it (like online) as it's an amendment. IF somebody did get the opportunity to speak to somebody to directly.. What prompts did you choose without being disconnected... or if there is an automated way which prompts did you put in!?


call the 800# and dont press

call the 800# and dont press any'll direct you to a rep


Took me about 15 attempts the next day... after multilpe disconnects, I tried some bogus prompts and finally got to a Rep. Was advised it was received. I originally filed end of Feb. Was told May 16th to June 16th the latest I'll have my check. Sounds good so far, he did say they are aware of people being upset that it's taking so long.. and they are looking into ways to get these out faster. Now let's just hope I really get it around the above mentioned time frame. :) Good luck everybody!

amendment status

Call 800-829-1040 and they should be able to tell you what the status is of your claim.

they have it

i went through the same thing it took 6 weeks to the day to show up i called and called and they keep tellin me they didnt see it on week five they told me to mail it again and i waited that extra week and im glad i did irs weres my refund finally showed a date so waiting is all u can do i know its hard not knowing but im sure its there hope this helps

What I've been reading is

What I've been reading is there is no way to check online if they received the 5405. They won't know until they know, if that makes sense. Just keep calling, when they have it, and you call to ask, they'll tell you. If not, they'll say they don't.

the number to call is

the number to call is 18008290852 or 18008290582 either one in not sure but when u hear the prompt press 1 and then its going to ask you for an extension which is 462, they work from 7am - 10pm, you wont be able to see it on the internet or hear your ammendend amount through their system you have to speak to someone to get info.

Ammendments don't show up

Ammendments don't show up on the website. Call the IRS number on the website BUT NOT THE AUTOMATED LINE THAT WILL JUST TELL U ABOUT YOUR TAX REFUND. I just kept on pressing numbers and finally got through to someone. I mailed mine in February with everything together and got it the end of March.

Over 9 months and still waiting.....

I purchased my house June 23, 2009. They recieved my form June 30, 2009. I called after about 5 months to find out I was being examined. They sent me examination forms 30 days later and told me to send things in for them. I sent everything they asked for that week. 30 days later I got another form saying I was denied for a fraud claim and if I disagree to send in more info. I went to my tax lady and we got extra paper work from closing, bank, taxes, and from the realitor. She also wrote a formal letter stating the situation and that this wasn't a fake claim. Now 2 months later they sent me a letter saying they are reviewing the info I sent them and will reply by 4/24/10... Now I'm just waiting to see if I'm still denied or getting the money.... And who knows if I do get approved when I will still see the money and how much interest is added... I've called many times to wait on hold for over 30 min each time and my tax lady has also called and waited on hold and got the run around.... I really hope I'll be seeing that money soon.

Still Waiting

We bought our first house in NOV 2009. Filed our taxes the end of Jan 2010. We signed and sent in all paper worked requested. Web site said we should have our return by March 6th. We got a letter in the mail stating they need us to sign our 1040. We had already done so before mailing. (do they think were stupid) We then faxed the info over to the IRS and now they are saying it will be May 6th. I have a feeling this could go on for a while. We also called and they wouldn't give us a date because she didn't want us to hold her to it..ya right. People, you think this is bad? wait until Gov. starts running our Health care. Hopefully you wont die before you get approved for medical treatment.

tax management

I did read your post wow it was same as ours same time frame etc good thing we donot plan on that money to feed ourselves. I feel your pain but you are not alone kind person i figure if we were welfare we would be better off.

I sent my return out on Feb

I sent my return out on Feb 6th. Where's my refund stated a 04/20 deposit date. I just checked my mail box last week and found a letter stating my wife and I never signed our 1040 and we were missing a schedule. I triple check everything and not to mention I would not be missing any of my schedules as my tax prep softwares bundles all this information upon printing. I have never dealt with the IRS before (thank goodness for e-file). The IRS could learn a lesson or two in customer service. The labryinth of confusion and red tape that it is.

Can I ask where you faxed it

Can I ask where you faxed it to? I can't seem to get a fax number for this stuff....

you're an idiot.....the

you're an idiot.....the government is not trying to run your health care. Those of us who can't get health insurance appreciate what the President has done. You idiots need to shut up about it because you are just repeating what someone else said. You really don't have a clue! This is the kind of talk that makes the United States a joke to other countries. "United" people!!!!! You don't have to agree with every policy, I had a real problem with the last administration and the way they nearly distroyed this country, where were the TEA parties and doctors who are refusing to treat patients because of who they voted for and all of you with the word socialism in your vocabulary, where were you then??? Are you saying the Bush years were ideal?? You finally get a president who cares about this country and the citizens and you form hate groups. Reminds me of another time in our history...just not covering their faces anymore!!!!

I can almost see the light

We are the ones who purchased a house in November...Website said we should have it by May. Well we went on the website yesterday and now it is say it will be direct deposited on April 9th. I have a feeling this time we might get lucky. Best of luck to the rest of you. My suggestion is to keep calling and stay on top of it.


I mailed my taxes on February 23, 2010. I went online to "check the status of my refund" and at first it said payment should be recieved by May 6, 2010. I checked it again today, and now it says payment should be recieved by May 11, 2010? Im concerned because the date changed and because its taking so long. That would mean it would take seven weeks for them to get the return and five weeks for them to process it? Arent they the tax professionals? Based on some of the other posts, it seems like the Home Buyer Tax Credit delays the process, and typical return times mean nothing when you file the Home Buyer TAx Credit :(

Your return

Don't get in any hurry to receive thew home buyers credit! I mailed mine to the IRS on 9/21/09. Received a letter asking for the HUD closing paper and letter of occupancy, which was attached with the original claim. Next I received a letter asking me to provide proof of who I was and if I really lived in the home. Had to produce copies of my driver's license, water bill, electric bill, telephone bill and car registration and yes again the HUD closing paper and the certificated of occupancy. I immediately sent these via "signature required mail" and heard nothing. Called in Jan and was told I never sent in the r4equested paperwork. Told the about the signature required to accept the mail and they said to bad they did not have it even after I read the name of the person and the date received. Sent in same paperwork again via registered mail. Received a letter in March saying my claim was under review. April 15 checked "My refund" which said would be mailed 4/28/2010. Today I checked and seen it now says check will be sent May 28. So, in other words, don't get in a hurry, no need to call as you will be on the telephone for hours, transferred an infinite amount of time and end up only being frustrated without ever finding anything out. Best advice I can give is what I have accepted which is the IRS is incompetent, obviously ignorant,hate the public they work for and finally I will receive the refund when I see it. It is a sad day in HADES when the US government is so incompetent, especially when we have a President who tells us everything is getting better.

They did the same thing to

They did the same thing to us. We closed on July 17th, 2009 and after jumping through hoops, they denied us saying we were listed as the seller and buyer (which is not correct). We sent in 116 additional pages of documentation showing we bought the house from a third party. We got a letter back in March saying we should hear something by 4/14/10. I'm not going to hold my breath. If they deny us again, I am getting a tax payer advocate.

Not too bad

We closed on our house November 23, 2009, filed electronic return, got that refund direct deposited on 02/16, filed amended return on 02/16/10 for first time homebuyer with W2, schedule M, 5045 form and copy of HUD settlement and just received 8000 refund in the mail on 04/5/10. Only about 6-7 weeks. Just lucky I guess.

8 months...

I'm in almost the same situation, I bought my house in July 2009. I had my tax guy prepare the paperwork and sent in my amended 2008 tax form in October 2009, I waited and started calling them in Late January 2010, they said they had 180 days to review the forms I sent them back in October, but should be sending me a letter "within the next 30 days" I got that letter in the mail stating to send them more information, my signed HUD form, recent mortgage statment, bank statements with my address, copy of DL with Address, and or Paycheck stub with adress on it. I sent them the requested forms in mid febuary, the called them in the middle of march. Again they stated they would send me a letter "within the next 30 days" I got the letter saying they recieved my packet and that they should (again) be sending me a letter within 30days. I was thinking in my situation it was my age that made my claim questionable (I was 19 turning 20 when I bought the house) , but I'm just getting tired of no answers, I bought the house, I have all the documentation to prove it, so I suppose I have nothing to worry about, I just need and was counting on that money sometime before april.

We closed July 31, 2009. We

We closed July 31, 2009. We waited to claim the credit on our 2009 taxes. We sent in the information Feb 5, 2010. Just got a letter April 2 saying I was disallowed because I was claimed on someone else's return. (No one I spoke with has even seen this type of issue before) Excuse me...what? So I called the number, I was on the phone for 2 hours and 15 mins with 4 different people. They told me it was their mistake, and their system was looking at our 2008 taxes and not 2009, and it was rejected before a real person even had time to look at it. I was assigned a tax advocate by the IRS agent I spoke with. He seems to think we could still have our credit by the end of May because the advocate will really speed up the process. I have yet to speak to the advocate, but I will repost when I do and let everyone know if that is a viable option for solving this type of problem.

tax credit 8 weeks now

I filed my taxes on feb 4th and checked wheres my refund weekly for the last month.
It always schowed a refund date on April 6th. I callled and was told that that is not going to be the case. Now the IRS is saying sometime in May IF everything is ok.

The hard part to swallow is not that it is taking so long but being mislead for weeks. How could the IRS NOT HAVE PUT OUT THIS INFORMATION. I only hope all i's are dotted and t's crossed which I think they are but this sure hasn't been as easy as it sounded in the begining.

I purchased my home in

I purchased my home in September '09. I waited and filed an amended return. I mailed my amended return on February 17. IRS received them on February 18. I received my refund check in the mail today April 5. Thank you Jesus. Headed to the furniture store!!!!

September 2009

I also bought my first home in September 2009 but my 2009 income exceeded the $95,000 limit. I was being told from my tax woman that I would not be able to receive the $8k tax credit, but I'm reading conflicting statements that would allow me to amend my 2008 tax return (that was under $80k adjusted gross). Can you verify that is what you did and that there were no stipulations other than being in the income limits ($75k-$95k). Is there anything else that I need to present to my tax office to get the ball rolling on this process? I read that all I need to do is fill out a 5405 form and a 1040X form to amend my 2008 return. Is that correct? Thanks so much for the advice.


And you wonder why?

Does anyone wonder why the Federal Government is a failed entity? What more proof do we need? Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles could see what a CF this is. The IRS handling of the tax credits is all the proof I need that they shouldn't be involved in healthcare or anything else. It is ridiculous the delays and stumbling blocks they throw at citizens. There is absolutely no excuse for the delays and obstacles that most of us are dealing with. Yes, I know it is "free money" (in theory only). Yes I know there are some whom are fraudulently trying to get free money but it is BS how long some of us have had to wait. There is no excuse for the delays caused by them changing their rules and requirements in the middle of the game. The IRS needs to be out sourced to the private sector, I don't see how it could be much worse. I have repeatedly called and never been told the same thing twice, the documentation required, which I sent them, the time frame keeps being stretched out. I bought my home in 2009 and at the rate they are going, if I even finally get approved, I don't expect to see a check this year. What a crock!

Hang in there. My check

Hang in there. My check arrived today after 9 months but with interest! 289.90

Where did you send yours

Where did you send yours to?? I have been also waiting that long..


Call and have an advocate help you with this. 877-777-4778.

how do i contact anyone about my tax credit?

We got a house in nov 2009 I filed the paperwork at the end of nov they told me it would be 8-12 weeks its been 18 weeks now. What number can I call to speak to someone to see when I should get my refund. My tax preparer has given me 2 numbers and they are all automated and none of the options are about the tax credit. Help!

IRS number

if you are in california call 18008290582 ext 462. I called and got a live operator fast. I filed my return on Feb 15th and irs where's my refund is telling me that my returned is being processed and they have changed the date on me twice. The lady who answer the phone said I should have my refund by this Friday April 16 however I'm still not counting on it. Does anyone in california know if we are required to send anything other the the final HUD statements. All I sent with my return was the for 5405 and the final hud statement do you think this will be a problem?

first time tax credit

if i qualify as a new home owner, but a friend that i plan on purchasing our new home with doesn't (he currently owns a home which was recently sold), can we claim the 8k?

you can claim half of the

you can claim half of the 1st time credit and your friend can claim half of the previously owned credit. So your maximum credit would be $7250 on a home that is priced $80k and above.

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