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.  



i also filed at the atlanta

i also filed at the atlanta office and my original date was april 20th and today 03/26/10 it said my status was 04/27/2010 . so yes my status was pushed back a week. i am also going to call to maybe check and see if any errors were found and here is the number 1-800-829-0582 ext-462. good luck hope this helps!

Pushed back too

On 3/11 my status went from having no info to stating an expected date of 4/13. On 3/24 it changed the date to 4/27.

Yes call 18008290582. ext

Yes call 18008290582. ext 462. i have called two times in past 3 weeks and have told me exactly where my account stood. my check will be in the mail tomorrow.

IRS received mine Feb 11th.

IRS received mine Feb 11th. 2 days ago the website said we would receive our return by April 13th. Today it says april 27th!!
Can't seem to reach a live person to find out what the issue is. I need this money!!

My expected date of refund

My expected date of refund also changed from April 13 to April 27. I submitted to Kansas office in beginning of February. There is another number to call on this forum. It is below in one of the posts. This has all been extremely frustrating!

I also filed at the Atlanta

I also filed at the Atlanta office.

They signed for my return on 2/17.

On 3/17 "where's my refund" says 4/20

On 3/25 date gets pushed back to 4/27.

Still hoping it shows up sooner....


Hi I saw that your subject line say that you filed at Atlanta, I live here in Atlanta too... Was wondering where you filed at.. Thanks!

I guess I should have said I

I guess I should have said I mailed it to Atlanta.

Update: Still says if no mistakes...4/27

UPDATE: Where's my refund

UPDATE: Where's my refund now says 5/18....UGH!

Mailed mine on Jan 28th.

Mailed mine on Jan 28th. First checked online and refund was supposed to be direct deposited on April 6th, then April 13th as of today (March 25) it's now April 27th!! Are these people that brain dead?

6 months and still waiting.....

Sooo frustrated at this point. They have had my documents for 6 months, and just tell me "its pending" and I have to wait.

The IRS confirmed they received my 2008 revised tax return for the First Time Home Buyers credit on 9/21/2009. I included all of the required documentation, including HUD statement, closing documents, address confirmations etc.

I called in October and was told it would be reviewed and as long as it went through the "Exam" process and didn't have any issues, I would receive my tax rebate in early January.

January 15th I call again, and they say I should receive it soon.

Mid-February and I call again - they say they are waiting on paperwork from me. I say "Oh the paperwork I included 4 months ago when I mailed the documentation to begin with?" They say they sent me a letter requesting this - I never received it. Come to find out, they sent it to my OLD address. Now lets think about this - if I still lived at my old address, how exactly could I be claiming a First Time Home Buyers Credit and prove residency at the new address?

I send them alll of the documents they needed SAME DAY. They confirm it was received SAME DAY.

Now again, they have no update, and say its waiting for someone to review it. They have assigned someone to review it, but they haven't gotten to it yet. I told them I received a letter saying it would be 30 days, and its now been MORE than 30 days.

Their response: You may get another letter like that, telling you it will be another 30 days. At this rate, it could be a year before I receive anything.

After that conversation, I filed IRS 911 form for a taxpayer advocate to assist.

6 months!!! Unbelievable. Can you imagine if I owed $8k to the IRS and told them - "I know I owe it, but its still pending my review, call me in 30 days."

I encourage all of you still waiting to file the IRS Form 911 for a Taxpayer advocate to be assigned to you. They are an independent group that gives a report to congress every year as to the IRS' performance, and any issues.

Still not Tax credit

We closed on our home 9/17/09. Amended our 2008 return two days later. Heard nothing from the IRS until 2 wks ago. They needed additonal information. They received the additional information on 3/19/10. I called today and they acknowledge they received it and will hopefully have an answer for us in 30 days..... what in the world have they been doing for the past 6 months??? We are really frustrated. I wish you all luck it is a very long process.

37 weeks now.... and still

37 weeks now....

and still don't have it.

closed 6-19-09
filed 7-7-09
IRS received 7-13-09
we near nothing whatsoever until 12-21-09. a letter saying they need more info.
all info requested was sent 12-30-09, and received by IRS 1-7-10
2-8-10 we get a letter saying they have received info, and are processing, should have a response in 30 days.
2-19-10 we get another letter saying we should receive a response by 3-27-10

its 3-22-10, and haven't heard a thing.

the advocacy center says they cant help us.

I'm beginning to wonder if we just aren't going to get it.

Have an doesn't seem to help

We finally were assigned an advocate after 6 months of calls. Doesn't seem to have sped the process along too much, we've been promised action is being taken, but I have my doubts. I think with tax return season upon us, it will just slow things up more. Here's something really scary...I read this morning the new healthcare reform bill will be administered by the IRS...God help us all, LOL!


Bought home 12/09
Mailed tax info 2/4
Received by IRS 2/12
Realized I didnt sign the 1040. AHHHHH. Usually everything gets done electronically and it was a huge oversight on my part. Online It just says "in process" and does not give me a an "error" or "need more information" or date of deposit.
I'm really scared that its going to take forever to get the refund now just because I forgot to sign the document and we have to fax it back and wait even longer. I know its my fault but I wish they would send me information letting me know how I can fix it.

Hello everyone! I see alot

Hello everyone! I see alot of people on here that got the same "should recieve refund by April 13, 2010". I was wondering if any of you have gotten it yet? I called last week (before my status showed anything) and the answer I got was, we don't have your paperwork yet... Then the next day it showed as being processed. How long does it really take? Maybe they should hire more people, or hire better people. It is really frustrating when you buy a house that needs a little bit of work, and 8,000 would really add alot to it. Gosh they are slow.

It finally came

We closed on our house 6/30/2009. After many phone calls, faxes and letters, we received our check with interest on Monday 3/22/10. Even though we are still getting letters saying, sorry for the delay we will look at your provided documents, and we are sorry you have been disallowed and your claim is allowed and we are processing it. We were called and notified by mail on the 19th of February and we got the check 3/22.
Good luck everyone!

16 Weeks and I got excited...

Hey everyone, well I turned in my ammended 2008 return in early December, and it was received on 10 December. At the 8 week point I decided to call the number given below(thank you) to see if anyone had any idea when I might get my tax credit. I talked to someone who found my information, told me it had not been looked at, and to "expect" up to 16 weeks. So we are getting close to 16 weeks, and I get a letter in the mail from the IRS. YES, I think, finally. Well not quite. I open it up to find another form that I must fill out and send back, with proof that I own the house. So I have no idea what to expect in terms of my new time frame-- another 16 weeks? Who knows. At least they opened my file, and let's not forget that this is a free (not in terms of headaches) $8,000. We are certainly getting more help than people in the past. To those who have gotten their return, what can someone expect in terms of interest paid on the tardiness? Thanks

Home buyer tax credit

Where did you check your status or talk to someone? I checked on the IRS website and they couldn't find it for me. I talked to someone there a couple of weeks ago and they did recieve it, but now all I can get is the automated system. Is there a number to call that I can talk to a real person again?


Well, it took 7 months to finally get my FTHBC..... Good Luck to everyone waiting!!


My date says April 13th...just like a lot of others. I haven't seen a dime as of yet. Anyone else?

Got my refund last week

I got the same message about April 13, then one day my status changed to indicate that I would be getting my direct deposit by March 19. I checked my bank account first thing on the 19th and it was there. I feel very lucky in that I had no issues at all and only had to wait a total of about 5 weeks between mailing my return and receiving my refund. I did send a lot of "extra" stuff to prove residence at my new house though (copies of the deed, tax bills, utility bills, mortgage bills, basically anything with our names and the address on it).

Mine started as a return

Mine started as a return date of "by April 6th". Two weeks later, it changed to "by April 20th". . . it's not very reliable and it seems to keep changing for everyone.

Me too, mine just changed

Me too, mine just changed today to May 4th, I feel like crying :( I mailed and they got my paper return on Jan 25th!!! I'm still waiting for my direct deposit of this...I'm so mad!!

I just got my nasty you have

I just got my nasty you have to give us what we request or you will not get your tax refund letter Saturday.
I just mailed off my Hud-1 Settlement statement making sure to hi light the informatoin they requested. Also sent a notirized copy of that information I had obtained at closing.
Insane that this is allowed to happen. WHY wasnt this information required to begin with? And WHY wont I get interest in their lateness applied to my tax credit?


The HUD-1 form was required initially. It states that very clearly on the instructions for form 5405. If you didn't read the instructions, that's not the IRS' problem!



I closed on my home the end of Dec. I filed my taxes last week in Jan. and completed the amendment 2 days after I received my tax refund. I called the 1800 829 0582 ext 462 and they had not received anything according to their log. Right when I got off the phone with them I called 1800 829 1040 they informed me that they received it on Feb 6th and I can EXPECT to have my refund by April 7. We will see...hope this helps.

36 weeks

I'm going on 36 weeks of waiting as of Monday. The IRS finally approved my credit at the beginning of March, and they have yet to assign a release date. There is absolutely no good reason anyone should have to wait this long, AND I have a taxpayer advocate. Additionally, there is no rational reason why I should have to pay taxes on the interest I'm getting from the IRS due to this SUBSTANTIAL delay by the IRS.

may not be home free

I filed an amended return which our lovely government hustlers received on oct. 6th. I was told in november that i had been pulled for audit. then in december was told that i was approved and would receive my refund in 30 days. I didn't. I called back, was referred to an advocate, who never got in touch with me. I called back and was told they had no record of my return. I just called back today and was told my return was pulled for audit on the 16th and that it was being examined and i would here from them in 30 days. What can be done to track the status? The peons answering the phones don't know anything.

Same Story Here

We finally were approved March 5th, but no news on a release date here either. We did receive a letter about a week after calling and finding out of the approval, but it stated "6-8 weeks" until we should get the actual paper check with no check release date. Has anyone gotten similar news and how long was it to until you actually got your check?

Just for those still waiting... I bought our house June 12th, amended 2008 return, sent to exams, same run-around as everyone else. The Atlanta office received my extended paperwork December 28th, but for some reason had 2 dates of 12/28/09 and 01/22/10 as receiving the paperwork (probably because I both faxed and mailed everything, just to be safe). According to the VERY NICE Mrs. Henderson, she faxed a letter to the Atlanta office asking for more information on the discrepancy as well as letting them know that I would appreciate a phone call with anymore information. Something must have worked because I called back 5 days later since I hadn't heard back (shocking!) and was informed that only 2 days after talking with Mrs. Henderson, the credit was allowed. No idea why it all the sudden went through, but I would definitely recommend calling at least once a week asking for a status update. Don't feel bad, you are paying their incomes so call as often as you like. I guarantee that for every 3 people who tell you nothing of consequence, 1 will definitely help! I called so many times I sang the IRS on-hold song in my sleep!

Good luck to everyone and know that there is an end in sight.


There is no way you should be waiting that long,,36 weeks.
Get on the phone and call them every day.
There are people here who sent their info in, Jan and Feb who are
receiving theirs already. Question the IRS about that. Don't just
accept what they tell you.
I sent in my info Feb. 1st and the "where's my refun" says it will be mailed
out March 26th.
Good luck

did u get ur check

hey there have u got ur check let or what dose ur irs stats say

Still Waiting

I got my 2010 tax return but I don't see the first time home buyer credit.
I checked the IRS website and it said they sent me a letter requesting more information. I paid to have mine done and the place I went attached what I needed to send. All we had to do was sign the papers.
What does this mean?
Can they send regular tax return first then confirm the first time home buyer credit?

Not received the First time home buyer Credit

Just received my tax credit but didn't received my first time home buyer credit. I'm in the same boat. Didn't received any letter from IRS as of now. What about you? Did you get anything from IRS?



I have the very same situation. Talked to someone today and she said it was passed on to another dept.. that every person who claimed this credit has to go thru this process. Luckily, she did comment that it appeared (to her at least) that all the necessary paperwork was in order and hopefully it would come soon. Not alot of encouragement.. the "hopefully it will come soon" part, but at least I got the regular refund deposited in my account. Patience is what it will take to see the tax credit for first time home buyers that I qualified for. Agrees that if the tables were turned, and we tried to say 30 more days to them comments, but what can ya do?
Good luck everybody and enjoy fixing up your homes with the refund whenever you get it. :)

What in the world............why the hold up? Patiently Waiting.

We Bought in 07/2009
Sent VIa regular mail on 02/15/10
Paper of course, did ours on Tax ACT
Sent with W-2s, Correct form ETC, and HUD- settlement form
DID ours seperate(not married) $4,000.00 each
They recieved mine said wait till April 20th
Does it take that long??
His says NO Information of course...but all is direct deposit.
I would hope to recieve this alittle sooner I was more hoping for the end of March to allow time I know they are so swamped. Jeez!!!! Ugggh!!

A date doesnt mean anything!!

My husband and I sent in our return at the end of January after buying a house in Nov 09. Finaly after 3-4 weeks the irs site said they have recieved it and it should be deposited by March 30th. Well march 30th came around and no deposit! So I called the number they gave me on the irs site and was told that they found an error or need more info and will be sending me a letter within 3 weeks! What??!! She said she couldnt tell me what was wrong that the letter will explain it! I used tax act and thought I sent in all the right paper work. Sooooooo frustrating!!!

My fiance and I sent our

My fiance and I sent our amended returns, by paper, in May '09. We waited for about 4 months and nothing. I called the IRS and they said they never received my paper work, only his. However, they said they still needed more information. They wanted a copy of the deed, tax stamp, or closing statement. It took another 3 months to get his refund and 2 months for mine. It was a lengthy process, but we finally did get the refund.

Got mine also

I overnighted mine january 26th. For the longest time on wheres my refund it said I would get it before march 31st if there werent any errors. I got my entire refund today. Cant get much faster then that!

Did you use direct deposit?

Did you use direct deposit? I have a friend of the family do my taxes and they said the IRS says they will only send a check, not direct deposit. Would be nice to get it before the end of March. Sent mine out February 15th, should not take this long.


I am a tax preparer, my client just got her direct deposit today.

Yes they direct deposited

Yes they direct deposited the entire refund. It looks like they send checks for amended returns.

That still took 2 months!

That still took 2 months! I'm hoping mine does not take that long!

screw you I've been waiting

screw you I've been waiting a year.

I bought my house in april

I bought my house in april and didnt even know I could amend the credit so thats why i waited for tax return time. Judging by some ppls luck, its a good thing I waited. Anyways, good luck to everyone waiting.

Got Mine today

Mailed in on February 5th with receipt card showing they received on February 8. For longest time it showed no status on the website. Finally on March 13 it said they received and if no issues would get refund by April 13. Just 4 day after on March 17 (luck of the Irish) it said that I am getting the direct deposit on March 19. And YES I did get it!

Mine said that if I had no

Mine said that if I had no issues that I would get my refund back by April 13th, 2010. Well I just checked today to see if I had your luck and now the date is pushed back to April 20th, 2010! I wonder what the difference is. I mailed my return in on February 4, 2010.

what state do you live in

what state do you live in

2010 Tax return came but no first time home buyer credit

My 2010 tax return came however I don't see the first time home buyer credit.
I checked the IRS website and it said they sent me a letter requesting more information.
What does this mean?
Can they send regular tax return first then confirm the first time home buyer credit?
This is frustrating since I already included all the information.

I got the same notice. My

I got the same notice. My EIC was deposited on the 19th but not the 8000 credit. I haven't heard anything yet.

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