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.  



Mine was smooth, anyways...

I've been following everyone's posts here, so I thought I'd report back my experience!
I mailed mine in (just normal mail, from WA to CA) on Feb 26. On March 20-ish, the Where's My Refund page said if all goes well, I'll receive my refund April 20 or sooner. On March 24 I checked the Where's My Refund page again (I'm neurotic), and it said I would receive my direct deposit today (March 26). I logged on to my bank website at 9am this morning, and it was already there! That's exactly 4 weeks from when I SENT it, less than 4 weeks from when they received it! In my particular case, the IRS was efficient beyond my expectations. Maybe it'll be that way for other people, too.
Good luck!

Received Refund EXCEPT for New homebuyer credit!

Purchased home in August, filed 2009 tax return in late January. FINALLY got a direct deposit today, but only for the non-homebuyer credit portion. NO communication from IRS. We DID submit our settlement statement with our return. Very frustrating!

Still standing by...

Same situation...waiting,

-Mailed return Jan 26, 2010 with HUD settlement form.
-Checked Wheres my Refund, until Feb 20 it was finally updated indicating I should receive my refund by March 30, 2010 if there were no errors or mistakes.
-Called the IRS Feb 22, 2010 to verify they had my Direct Deposit Info
-An extremely rude female Operator advised me she was unable to check anything on my account despite how kind I was too her (Since we are at their mercy). And she went on stating it would take 6 to 8 months, due to the Home Credit.
-She also said they had not received my filed return, contrary to their System indicating they did receive it.
-Finally Mar 24, I receive a letter from IRS requesting a HUD-1 or similar statement
-Called IRS they stated the HUD-1 or any settlement form with names, parties amount date and signatures at purchase would suffice. I told her my Settlement form had no signatures, she said some jurisdictions may not have signatures but that is still acceptable (Im in California by the way)
--Faxed the HUD settlement form and Grant Deed with IRS Cover sheet they sent me in the mail
-Next step......stand by to stand by....

I have the same story only i

I have the same story only i was unable to fax mine in, I had to mail it in even though I had sent it in to begin with. I called and the lady stated they may have lost it or something and to go ahead and resend it. The website still says by April 6, this is worrysome to me.....

dont worry be happy

i sent in my return acompanied with the final settlement " closing " i am schedueled to get my check april 2nd i filled on feb 18th
some times it pays to pay someone to file
i paid 216 dollars to get mine done by h&r block " no this is not a plug in for them"
taxes paid by previous owner can be claimed by youuuuuuuuuuu i did not know that
anyway just a little more time mail them documents that they may request and you will be fine.
I was told better to get a chech at your new home address not direct deposit!!!

same here

mailed my hud 1 settlement form with my tax return and recieved the same letter wanting hud 1 form. what is going on here

How long does IRS have?

Do any of you know how long the IRS has to distribute a refund? Does it ever get to a point where they owe interest to recipient on refund? Like some of you have mentioned, they wouldn't be very patient with us if we owed them! And, they most certainly charge us interest & penalties if we wait to send them taxes that are due them. Wondering if they are obligated to do the same for those of us who are waiting on a refund!

good point, I like it! You

good point, I like it! You know they would be after us, I think they should owe us interest and penelties especially if we sent all required information and still haven't received anything by april 15th. I mailed my taxes in 1-15-10 and I'm still waiting

I amended my 2008 tax return

I amended my 2008 tax return for the FTHB credit. I filed on September 4, 2009. My question is, will my return be direct deposited or mailed? I had my 2008 taxes direct deposited, but I heard if you amend, the check will be mailed? I am suppose to be receiving my status March 31, 2010.

Only took 8....

MONTHS!!! Utterly ridiculous!! After being denied, and then not being notified that I was denied until I called the examiner. Built even more frustration. Next step was to send letters and documents to IRS 'reconsider' team, and kapow, finally approved. 8 long frustrating months.

To all whom are still waiting, please call them every week. Even if they tell you the same ole' line, give us 30, 60, 90 days...still call them. Trust me, because someone isn't doing their job!

home buyers credit

Is there a phone number you called for the irs? I cannot get anything but recordings.


I filed on jan 22 included all the docs that the IRS Requested. Today March 24 I got a letter from the IRS stating that they I am under Examination and need following within 30 days:

Hud1 (Sent it in first filing) Copy of my DL, latest payment statement to my Loan Company, Copy of my Auto Registration!

They need to get it together! I could have sent all this the first time. and what they did with my Hud-1 that I already sent them,,, I have no idea!

I deal with the Veterans Administration a lot and this is what they do when they get behind, "They lose everything"!

I suggest that you might want to keep many copies available "Just in Case"..

Good Luck to all!

run around

First Time Home Buyer Credit.
ammended return for 2008

1.Purchased house August 31st 2009
2.Sent in ammended returned same day IRS recieved it 9/4/09
3.Wait the 12-16 weeks
4.No response
5.Call them up mid December they say its in process still
6.Wait a couple days more
7.Revieve a letter in mail stating my refund has gone to further examination
8.2 weeks later recieve letter saying they need: HUD1, my d.l., utility bill(s),bank statement(s), mortgage payment(s). I mailed and fax everything 3 times. I gave everything that had my name and my home address.
9. Got the whole wait 30 days speech
10. Waited 30 days. no response from IRS so I called and said they recieved it and is in process.
11. Call back since no response from them. I call again, they told me that it has gone to further examination.
12. 2 weeks pass, I call since I have not heard from them again. They tell me my paperwork (check #8). Got hung up on
13. Called back, lady told me they have recieved it but it was some how deleted from there system.
14. Now Im like really, this cant be happening.
15. They also tell me that I wouldnt have called that my refund was going to be disallowed.
16. Called back this is late Feb early Mar. and said it is in my best interest to get a tax advocate.
17. I call and get assigned a tax advocate 3/4/10. Tax advocated wants all the information again(#8)
18. This time I fax everything 8 times to the tax advocate and got the 30 day speech.
19. Now today4/3/10 I get letter saying that my refund is going to be disallowed because I have not sent in any of my information.
What should I do?


purchase a home end of last year. Sent my tax out on 2/5/10. It is saying I should get my refund by 4/6/10 unless they find errors or need additional documents. I will keep everyone posted.

Thanks for everyone whom has contributed here.

Just wondering did you ever

Just wondering did you ever receive your check?

When you state, "It is

When you state, "It is saying," what do you mean by that? Also if there is a web page to track this down also that would be awesome.... Who do you contact about finding out how long this process should take as well. Closed on the house at the end of january.

tax answer phone #

Hi-I'm wondering the same thing and found this # on a website today??and I will be calling tomorrow. maybe this helps you too, and anyone else....1-800-829-1040


Bought my house Aug. 1st 2009. waited till 2009 tax season. got my regular taxes back and amended my 8,000. today is march 25th didnt see any info when i checked wheres my refund so i called spoke with a woman who was very helpful she said they are mailing it out this friday which is march 26th and she said i will have it next week hope the irs doesnt lie but i will update this post. by the way file married- joint and had my taxes done by a pro. good luck on getting yours.... tbw

What link did you use to get

What link did you use to get your update, I too sent mine in on 2/6?

"Where's My Refund"

Go to: Type: Where's My Refund into the search section at the top right of the page.

Good Luck

We purchased Nov. 13

We purchased Nov. 13 2009
Jan 27,2010 filed and mailed taxes. Verified receipt on Feb 04, 2010
(Kansas City,MO)
Deposit made today Mar 24, 2010.

Good Luck

Purchased my home Nov 20,

Purchased my home Nov 20, 2009. Filed and mailed my taxes on Jan 26, 2010. Atlanta, Ga office received them Jan 29, 2010. IRS confirmed that my check was mailed this past weekend, Mar 26, 2010. Be patient everyone

If you have not been waiting for atleast 5 months..






While I don't agree with the

While I don't agree with the tone of this post, I must say that I do agree that people on this board are being a bit unrealistic.

Dealing with the IRS is a frustrating experiance, no doubt. I've had multiple experiances with them cleaning up mistakes by previous employers and it's a pain. If they lost your paperwork or are denying an appropriate claim, I understand your anger. I'd hire a tax attorney, they can probably resolve the situation for you.

However, if you're simply upset because you want/need your tax credit right now, I can only think that you are being unrealistic. Just because you want/need the money now places no obligation on the government to give it to you right away. I filed for my tax return about two weeks ago, I fully expect this process is going to take months and significant follow up action on my part. It's $8,000, the government isn't going to just hand it out. They made no promises on how fast it would be distributed either. Realize that you're getting a huge break that most people didn't get when they bought their home. Just be happy it's coming. You will eventually get your money if you meet the requirements.

If you need this money right now, and you just assumed it would be available to you quickly, that's simply poor planning on your part, and instead of focusing your anger at the IRS, you should really reconsider how you plan things. Tax returns of this nature can and should take a while to work through the system. As an American taxpayer, I want all the paperwork checked twice, and I also understand that putting a credit like this in place puts a huge burdon on the IRS and things will be slow. Sorry if it takes months, or even a year to get your credit, but that's how it seems to be.

If you really can't see the difference between you having to pay your taxes on time, and the government processing tax returns, and you want to try and charge them interest as some have stated, I don't even know what to say to you...

To those that are having problems calling the IRS, there's a 1-800 number right on their website that ends in "1040", I've used it and it works. Yes, there's a LONG wait time, so plan to call when you have time to sit on the phone, but it does work and you will get to speak to a live person if you select the correct options. Remember to be nice and soft spoken, explain your situation clearly. They can either treat you like they treat everyone else and funnel you through the system, or if you're particularly nice (and you're lucky), they might just go that extra mile for you and help you resolve your issue a lot quicker. It might also be helpful to know that different people at the IRS can handle your call differently, so calling back about an issue if you're not happy with how it was resolved isn't a bad idea. I've been very lucky with this before.



Ah Ha ha...that was funny

Ah Ha ha...that was funny

To Stop your belly aching

All I have to say is WOW and GET A LIFE. If you have yours, why are you on here asking questions? It is people like you that make this world so hard to live in. You have no idea what kind of plans people have for their tax credit, renovations that are NEEDED for the house, etc. Go to Facebook or somewhere like that to be ugly, but save it for people who care about your screaming at them. We are all adults here, just asking questions and getting advice. Us, personally, were under the impression that it could all be done easily when we filed our regular taxes....obviously, the "paperwork" involved was failed to be communicated to home buyers by agents, etc while searching for a home. So in closing, get your facts straight and your a** off your shoulders. (excuse the "donkey" word). By the way, when using the word "their" as you did this post is the proper way to spell it.....your way was referring to a PLACE, so maybe an education is in order, as well.

Get a grip, people work

Get a grip, people work there a** off for there money and there home, so when money is due and people can't do there jobs, and make people wait who have any amount coming to them, people have all the right to complain. Everyone else in society has to do there jobs these jacka****** can do theres as-well. So you deal with it........... Not my problem or anyone elses that someone didn't have the luxury of getting it. Not everyone deserves the samething. Also your not getting the money for free, um you have to pay for your home, right?? Sorry your so rude.....

Be An Adult

Let's be adult about this. There's no need to talk to anyone like they're children when they are simply talking about their experience with a new thing like the Homebuyer Tax Credit. I'm new at this myself and I like to read everyone elses experience and how long it took to get the refund.


When buying their home....

Not for free

That is ridiculous to say it is free. Someone is paying for it. Either some wealthy American, or our grandkids that have to pay of the debt for the treasury bonds sold to pay us. But who cares, as long as it isn't you paying for it, it is free, right? Nice attitude. Furthermore, the government will take it all back from me in taxes in a very short amount of time. Also, to say suck it up is just wrong. No, I don't need the money to pay for my mortgage payment, or anything important. But that doesn't mean it is right for the government to dangle it like a carrot to buy a house and then say, oh, by the way, it won't take the 4 weeks we promised - it will take six months to a year. It is called lying. It is also very frustrating to see our tax dollars going to such an inefficient, non-working system. Anyone with a brain would have seen that fraud would occur and would have required paperwork up front. An employee with such a lack of foresight would be fired in the private sector. But for the government, it is just par for the course.

I agree

Very well stated...I've been waiting for 1 year already. Bought my home in May of 2009. After 4 months I got a letter stating that the IRS needed to know "why I was claiming this credit." Ok, correct me if I'm wrong, but on top the the form in big bold letters it says: "FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS TAX CREDIT." Duh, I think that a 5 year old could figure out why I'm claiming the credit.

So...I sent the form back in stating why I am requesting the tax credit but in 4 months I recieved a letter stating that I'm missing a signature. What!?!?!?!? I have the origional copy sitting infront of me right know, the copy of my form BEFORE I sent guessed's signed. They sent me back, not my "unsigned" document, but a completely blank document.

So...I filled it out again...signed it again...and sent it in again.

Now it is 4 months later, almost 1 year from my purchase date, and I am recieving ANOTHER letter stating that I have been denied and my case is closed. They won't even tell me why! I called the IRS and but the customer service peaple of course won't tell me why, nor will they transfer me to somebody who can. Bull S*@%.


I mailed my form 5405 at the end of Nov 09 and called IRS in Jan to check status. They told me they were recieved Dec 8th and it would be 12 to 16 weeks from that date. Ok, called again today to see if check had been issued and IRS said that forms were just processed on Mar 18 and it would be another 4 to 6 weeks before I see a check. They suck!


We purchased our house in July 2009 and waited to claim the credit on our 2009 taxes. I mailed the return on February 13 and they received it February 19th according to the post office. I had been checking the "wheres my refund page" consistently since then and last week it was finally updated. It says we should receive our refund on or before April 20, 2010. I was hoping it would be sent way sooner than that and it seems as though some of you got yours sooner than they had anticipated. We asked for direct deposit as well so hopefully it would be a bit easier. Can't wait to be back sending it e-file next year!

Got mine yesterday!

I filed the beginning of February (I think they signed for it Feb 9-certified mail) just got my full refund yesterday.

Good luck everyone!

Did you file for the credit

Did you file for the credit in your taxes, or did you file for it in an amendment? Did mine around the same time, and trying to figure out when I should expect it. Thanks!

April 13th?

I mailed mine on Jan 28.. unfortunately forgot about Schedule M.. I was told by a tax professional to let it slide and see if the IRS catches it. I checked the status online and it said that my refund should be available prior to April 13th, but I have a feeling that if they have to add on Making Work Pay it might be quite some time before I see any refund. I'm almost hoping I get my refund DD w/o Making Work Pay so that if it does take a long time to amend at least I have the homebuyer credit in the bank. I have a lot of work scheduled to my house this spring, and I have the money to pay, but I had hoped to take everything directly from the money received from the credit. It just would make me feel better, lol.

Still in limbo

Sent my return (via registered, next day mail) - February 3rd.
Arrived @ IRS - February 4th.
Still no status that they've even received it via phone or where's my refund - March 23rd.

They're telling me to wait a full 8 weeks and then resubmit it, if it doesn't show up by then.
If they do find it after I've already resubmit it that'll raise a whole mess of trouble I'm sure.
All I can do is pray (which feels uncomfortable, but God is always using trouble to remind me that He is greater than what I'm up against).

Suppose to have been mailed out yesterday :)

I'm hoping to go home today and look in my mailbox and recieve my $8,000 check from the IRS, I've been waiting since Sept 1, 2009. I have really been practicing patience so waiting these next couple of days are a making me weary.

Anyone have their date pushed back?

So I've been checking since a week after the IRS received my return for when I can expect my refund. I filed on Feb 3rd and finally got word on the IRS website that I should receive my refund by April 13th. Of course, I've been reading about many people getting it much sooner than scheduled so have continued to check. Today it shows that I should receive it by April 27th! WTF?!

Anyone else have their date pushed back? Does anyone have a number to call to check on the status? One other that the automated "Where's My Refund?" line?

Filed at Atlanta office


I just checked the website and my date was pushed back from April 20th to April 27th. I filed on February 17, 2009. I think the IRS is having cash flow issues. I've read many posts with people stating that we are getting $8000 for free and that other taxpayers are paying the bill. I'm an accountant. My husband earns a nice salary from the government and he pays a pretty penny in taxes every single year. He doesn't make $100,000/year, but up until we were married in Nov of 2009, he has filed HOH claiming two dependent children who both happen to be in college. He has NEVER even been allowed a credit for tuition because he is considered to earn too much. Had he been married, he would have qualified. My point here is this, he has been a hardworking taxpayer for many years and this is a one-time break that he actually qualifies for in our very often UNFAIR tax system. As an accountant, I hand out checks on a daily basis for well over $8,000 to people who have paid little or in not ONE CENT....into our income tax system. These people are low earners who already receive many types of public assistance paid for by taxing middle class hardworking people. Earned Income Credit is a travesty and a very misused form of welfare attached to our income tax system DIRECTLY. If you want to raise a stink about something....raise it about that!

Yes, I checked mine a few

Yes, I checked mine a few days ago and mine got pushed back from April 13 to April 27th as well. I was bummed. We over paid thousands of dollars as well as expect the 8,000. credit. I am thinking because the amount is so large there may be difficulty funding our refund? I hope to get it soon. We filed in the middle of Feb and certified mail. They received it according to the post office within a couple of days but we didn't get a notice from wheres your refund online until after the first week of March.

I will let you know if I hear anything different or get our refund sooner.

Good Luck everyone!

status pushed back 3 x's

My status said I would receive it by March 30th, if there was no problems in the processing (that is kind of vague and a reason to put it off longer). I checked the following week and it said April 13th, now it has been pushed back to April 27th. I had to install a new furnace and fix a plumbing issue that has really put me in a bind, but I'm trying to be patient. I can't seem to find a phone number that isn't automated information. A real person would be nice.

Try this number

Try this number 1-800-829-0582 x462. Sometimes you are put on hold for 15-20 minutes but you will get a live person. Have your tax info ready they will ask for it.

Thank you!!!

Just wanted to post a quick thanks for providing the # that has allowed me to speak to a human being instead of a machine...


me too, same deal.

Mailed certified 1/26
Received by IRS in Kansas, I think - 2/10
Finally showed up on where's my refund on 3/12, saying 4/13.
Checked WMR again yesterday - now says 4/27.

Thanks for the number, though...I will definitely be calling them on Monday.
I'm going broke waiting for this.

That's me above - Checked it

That's me above -
Checked it again today, now it says May 11th.
Why give a date in the first place if you just keep pushing it back??

Actually I have experienced

Actually I have experienced the same thing. I got the certified mail copy back stating that they received my return on February 4th. It took a while for it to show up in 'where's my refund'. When I found it there it had said I should expect it by April 13, then when I checked yesterday it said April 27. I also filed in Atlanta. I am guessing there is a backlog or delay or something. I'm not going to worry too much unless it's pushed back again. While I am eagerly awaiting the money to put a new roof on the house, I'm being patient because it is $8000 of free money. Good luck to you :)

I Had My Date Pushed Back

Same thing happened to me. Mailed my taxes in on 3/13, with 3 day delivery, and my info didn't show up on the IRS website until 3/12. Said I would receive it 4/13, and today I checked and they had bumped it back to 4/23. No explanation given.

My refund date changed....

Filed on Feb 15th....I checked "where's my refund?" on March 10th and thank god they finally received my paperwork and said if no errors I should get my refund on April 13th..
I checked back MArch 20th and now it changed from getting my refund on April 13th to April 27th..WTF!!

I didnt realize that it took longer then normal to get the refund but from reading the posts i see that the process is a slow one..I cant wait to go back to e-filing, but i guess its worth the wait, as long as i get my money.

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