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.  




Purchased my home 7/2/2009. Sent my forms in 7/10/09. Everytime I called the IRS I am told that it is being processed and it will take 16 weeks. Well today I called (10/6/2009) called to see why my return was taking so long. The rep said that it was mailed in September but was returned b/c they still had my old address.
The thing is, I put my new address on the amendment forms. The rep couldn't give me an explanation either. Typical Government agency - shoddy attention to details and certainly in no hurry to get things done
So my check has been sitting there. They are going to mail it out again and she said that it will take 2-3 weeks. I asked why that long and she said it has to go through the system and then be release by mail. Oh did I mention I was on hold for 30 minutes?? MAKE SURE when you call to follow up you verify your NEW address with the rep. They have been sending refunds to prior addresses and the IRS does not forward mail. Hang in there!!

I'm One of the Lucky Few

I mailed my amended return on Sept. 5th and the IRS received it Sept 9th. All I sent in were the two forms they asked for. I mailed it to Austin. Last night I checked my bank account and to my surprise there was an $8000+ credit pending from the treasury!! Apparently they have started to do direct deposit. It only took a little over 3 weeks for me to receive my credit after they received it.

I guess I'm lucky

I amended my return and sent it in certified. Got green card saying it was received Sept 9th. Just checked my bank account and there's an $8000+ credit pending from treasury! Apparently they are doing direct deposit now. I got my money in just over 3 weeks!

ANYONE send their stuff to Kansas City, MO

PLEASE someone can you please tell me if anyone sent their 8,000 ammend. return to the Kansas City, MO office....that the one we sent ours to and I live in Arkansas. I was just curious as to how long its taking everyone and i can't seem to get a answer :-s

Bought my house 7/30/09

Bought my house 7/30/09 amended 08/05/09 and still nothing after 2 months. All information was sent to the Kansas City location. I call, Its still processing, may take up the 16 weeks representative said. Reading the above comment, direct deposit? Anyone else received their money through direct deposit?

My wife and I sent our tax

My wife and I sent our tax credit to the Revenue Office in Kansas City, Mo on August 25th. We also live in Arkansas. Still haven't heard or seen anything...

I'm from Arkansas, went to

I'm from Arkansas, went to HR Block around August 21. They prepared the paperwork & envelope and I mailed it to the Kansas City office. Still havent heard anything back as of today, October 5 but it's only been 6 weeks. I'm going to give it until the 16th week, then I will start making some calls.

I am from Arkansas.

I sent my return to the Kansas City, MO office. IRS received mine on May 27th. I have been sent to review /audit and I don't think I am ever going to receive my money. Last I was told they mailed out a letter to me on Sept 15th it is Oct. 5th and I am still waiting for the letter. I don't know if the letter is requesting more info or declining me they could not tell me. I have a feeling this is going to be a long ordeal. I will not give up because I meet every condition for this credit but I am tired of dealing with them.

kansas city, MO office

We sent our ammended return to to kansas city, MO 7/23. They received 7/26. Ten weeks so far. We bought our home in western ny. Still have not received refund and the CS reps at the IRS are only giving the "12-16 week" answer. I have read others on this blog who sent to kansas city, MO and have received their refunds fast though.

We closed on March 20, and

We closed on March 20, and filed an amendment in April. We keep getting the run around. Unfortuanately the home we purchased needed a lot of work, we were relying on the credit to finish this work. When we sat down to close our down payment had jumped $4000 because the original program they were using had been cut, but they kept talking about the credit. "Oh just file an amendment right away." This is so frustrating. I had a very serious head injury last year that left me unable to work, and I was self-employed and I did not ensure myself, so we moved far from NYC and bought this house in upstate N.Y. thinking we would live in one half and rent out the other side to make up for the fact that I can't work, but without the credit we can't fix the apartment so it sits empty. How frustrating.

HUD makes NO diff.

Sending in HUD makes NO diff. I sent HUD and deed and still got sent to exams. There are plenty of ppl that didnt send in HUD and got checks in 5 -6 weeks. It won't hurt, but believe me, it won't help either, lol. I read several forums/sites similar to this and ppl get sent to exams whether they send in HUD or any other supporting ppwk.
I'm not saying to not send it in, I just don't want others (like myself) who sent in HUD to think that automatically means that you won't be sent to exams and get surprised/upset when they do.

I'm willing to bet that if there was a way to track it, it could be proven that proactively sending in HUD makes no diff in the wait time.

I am about to give up......

It has been 18 weeks as of yesterday. I have not called since 16 weeks when they had told me if I waited till then they could send a letter to whoever is over my file to ask what was going on. I waited and called then to be told they do not do that and they don't know why I was told that. I was also told a letter had been sent to me from the IRS on Sept. 11th. They could not tell me what the letter said only that they had sent it. It is Oct 1st and I have yet to receive a letterof any from from them. I contacted my congressman and get excited because they sent me a privacy disclosure so they could call the IRS on my behalf. They called them and then called me back to repeat to me everything the IRS said like I have not already heard that and to be patient. They were no help. I really believe at this point I will not see this money anytime soon.I am trying to get my nerve up to call them again and ask why I have not recieved a letter. Oh and by the way they told me to give the letter 30 days to arrive before I call them back.What the......? I get a different story everytime I call and it is so upsetting. I just feel like I am wasting my time. I would be more than happy to prove to them I have bought a home and that I meet all of the requirements but they will not let me. Any suggestions from anybody on what to do would be helpful.


DO NOT LET THE IRS INTIMIDATE YOU! btw, you're not even talking to an agent, your talking to someone they have contracted to handle the calls and look into your account but they're worse than security guards that think they're US MARSHALLS! anyway, call call call, just know that it does take ( in most cases) 12 weeks from start to finish. Hopes this helps!! Smile!

Has anyone been told.....

Was curious if anyone has been told when they called for status update that there file has not been reviewed and that is being further reviewed for a questionable item and may be 30 days before you are contacted if they need extra documentation?

Dont understand why they cant tell you then to send in extra docs if thats what they need.

My current wait is just over 14 weeks

YES! That's exactly what I

YES! That's exactly what I was told! I sent mine in the first week of July and have had nothing but rude people at the IRS tell me that my return was selected for review and I would receive a letter within 30 days telling me what they need. It's a F-ing joke!!!!

I was told the same thing

I was told the same thing kinda. i was told mine had went to examination, and I was to get a letter with in 30 days. Its been 45 days now and no letter. I just got off the phone with them, and they said, they have to set a date yet, and its still in examination.

Better update

I posted here a few times before..I mailed my amened tax return to fresno office, i didnt include any extra documents. They received it May26 which i mailed the 22....Took them about 10 weeks just to tell me that they had it..At about 12 weeks thats when it started processing.....At 16 weeks, after getting the run around about when that really was,,,i was able to get an agent to request info from person working on my return(she said it could take them 30days to call me back),,,however the next week i called,,,week 17, and was told that the friday before(which was 1 day after i got info on 30days to speak with person about my return,) my return had finsh processing... I called monday and they where able to tell me the amount was 8195 and would be mailed oct 9th..

So Excited!

I called IRS today...I mailed our ammended return 6 weeks ago today. The lady told me it was too early and I told her that I had called a few weeks ago and was told to call back. So, she agreed to check my status. She came back on the phone and said everything was done and our check was being mailed out on in 2 days!! 8,100.21$. So, I am so excited to not have to wait and will post when we physically receive the check. The IRS lady was just as suprised as I was that it was all done already. She said the average wait time is 14-16 weeks and that we are lucky.

Told my Amended Return was Closed?

I mailed my amended return to claim the FTHBC on 9/5; called to see if it was received on 09/23 and was advised it was not yet in the system and to call back in 8 weeks. I called back today 09/30 and was told that it was showing "closed" on 09/24; but no additional information was available and to call back at the end of next week to see if any more information was available. Does anyone know what "closed" means??? Is that good news; bad news??

How long is it taking to get this amendment back?

I mailed my amendment for the FTHB credit on 8/30. It was Recieved on 9/3/09. I mailed it to Atlanta. I am hearing some people are getting it back in 4 weeks and others going for months. I called the IRS today and they said 16 weeks. Is this the case or is in all in where you send it?

I mailed ours at the end of

I mailed ours at the end of May to Atlanta. They received it June 1st. I waited before calling giving them time since as a tax preparer I knew an amended return took 8-12 weeks even before this credit. I was told they received it. I called back a few weeks later to be told it had been given to someone with less of a work load. That if I hadn't heard anything to wait until the end of Sept to call back. I called last week. NOTHING is showing as done. This wonderfully nice lady I spoke to is having the one working on my return to contact me by phone or by letter. I was told to give this 30 days. If I hadn't heard anything to call back then. It's been 18 weeks now. It feels so unfair. I am happy for everyone getting theirs in 3-4 weeks even the 6 weeks. Still it doens't seem fair that some of us are still waiting. I do understand we are they are givinig us the credit and the oppertunity to get it this year rather than waiting till next year which btw is the normal practice for credits. Still why do some get theirs in 4 weeks and others wait several months. Shouldn't they have taken them as they came in? finish up the old before starting the new.

Don't get your hopes up.

Don't get your hopes up. I've been waiting 20 weeks as of today 10/05/09 and have provided everything they have requested. Every time they give you a date that they will respond by, the next time you call they have a new reason as to why they can give a new date, another 30 to 45 days out. As of right now I have no clue as to when I will see this refund. And they wonder why people don't trust the government.


I have been reading this site for the last 5 weeks! I mailed my return August 17th and received my check September with $102.00 interest on the 28th! And they had my wrong address and I still got the check! I heard that if you have whoever did your taxes amend your taxes you get it back quicker! Not sure if it is true! But I can't believe that I got it in 5 weeks! I wonder why everyone who is waiting for 16 weeks is taking so long?

Anyone claiming the 2008 Credit?

Ok, so I've been living under a rock for the past 9 months!! I didn't know that that I qualified for the 15 year interest free loan until two weeks ago - doing some prep work for this year's return. I sent in my 1040X on 9/14/2009. Certified green card came back with IRS stamp recv'd on 9/23/2009. Found this site today. Now I'm completely stressed out wondering if I should have sent in the HUD and closing statements. How long am I going to have to suffer???

Exams Dept Phone #

The number to contact the exams dept directly is 1-866-897-0177. If your amended return is in exams it is probably best to talk to them directly.
Just to update on my long ordeal, it has been 7 months and I have not recieved my refund yet. Just called and she said it is still pending, barely in the system yet, so it's going to be awhile. What the hell does that mean? I recieved a letter saying that it has been approved, but there is no release date for my check as of yet. The woman gave me the number for the refund hotline. 1-800-829-1954. I think it was her way of telling me to stop calling. Not gonna happen!

You are right that was a way

You are right that was a way for them to have you stop calling. I have been told several times that the automated systems can not give info on these. I am like you I have called several times to get me no answers. I told my husband yesterday, I am not calling anymore. When we get the money will be a suprise. I got an approved letter and was told to call back in 3 weeks and they will tell me when the check will cut. They have had my paper work since June 22. Good Luck!


I mailed my amended return in on June 24th. I called 2 weeks later and they said that they recieved it and that it will take 12-16 weeks fo rme to get my refund. I called back in teh begining on august which was like my 8th week. They said that they were backed up. I called back 1 week later. A gentleman told me that it was not inputed in the system until July 26th and that my 12-16 weeks starts on July 26th NOT June 24th. Frustrated, I called and spoke with someone else, they informed me that I was being audited and to look for a letter in the mail. I recieved the letter September 16th, and I faxed over my HUD 1 settlement statement September 17th. I then called to see if they recieved and they said to call back in 2 weeks. I called back today in which tomorrow will be two weeks, and the lady told me that it might take 30 days to update the system. Given I overnighted my return a week after I faxed it, and it still shows that they have not recieved it.

Get this - when I called to see if they recieved my fax, an agent told me that I should re mail it in a regualr envelope - first class and maybe it will get updated quicker.

I also mentioned that 4 people before speaking with him mentioned that it will take 2 weeks to update, and he said he could not guarntee it, and maybe I should hang up and call back for someone to tell me that it will be 2 weeks, if that is what I want to hear.

Another lady hung up the phone in my face.

The IRS is very incompassionate, and they don't care. I hope I get my money before the end of the year. I just don't know what to think.

Lucky, I guess

Me and my husband closed on our home on July 21, mailed our amended return on July 28, recieved check September 14. Didn't have to wait as long as most, and never called once to check status. Live in North Carolina and amended returns were mailed to Atlanta, GA. Hope everyone gets theirs soon.



sent no documents, just the

sent no documents, just the two that was needed


I closed on July 31, they received my paper work on August 20 and I received my check yesterday, September 28! I'm in Louisville, KY good luck to everyone else out there!

Direct Deposit

When I called yesterday to be sure my paperwork had been received I asked about the credit being direct deposit. The man informed me that they normally do not do direct deposit on amended returns but because they were getting so behind they may start direct deposit. Not sure how correct he is on this but if your calling you might ask to see if other workers say the same thing.

I mailed my return sept 9th.

I mailed my return sept 9th. I just looked at my bank account online and there's an $8000+ credit from the IRS pending. Apparently they have started direct deposit which is why I received the credit in about 3 weeks!


At exactly 16 weeks I received a letter saying that my amendment was being reviewed by an examiner and they're asking me for my HUD-1. I mailed it the next day. Hopefully the check will be released and I'll get the money soon. Anyone else had to send in their HUD-1, how long did it take to get the check after that?

re hud 1

the same happened to me. I sent mine in back in aug and only received a letter on the 21 stating that they are processing my correspondence dated aug 27.

hud 1

they received my paperwork may 4 and still have not received it. Needed to send hud statement back on Aug 12. will hear something buy OCT 26th. This is soo ridiculus! I bought the house i was renting for the last 3yrs. This is horrible the earth moves faster than our government.


Called IRS today and was told my check (with interest) is "pending" and has a mail date of October 9th! This is great news considering I've been waiting since May 7th. The IRS rep told me that having a tax advocate "had something to do with" getting my check expedited. Not sure how true that is but I guess I'll find out in a couple of weeks. I wrote my congressman on September 2nd, advocate assigned on September 10th. One month from the time advocate assigned to check mail date is not bad. I will update when check is actually received.

Update / exams

Just spoke to a CS rep. I knew my file was in exams, but wanted an update anyway. I was told that even tho my file was in Exams, he didnt see any other pending correspondence in my file asking for additional info, which is a good sign. He said my file seemed randomly examined, not because of any red flags. Austin,TX received my return 8/12, so it's only been 5-6 weeks. I received a letter dated 9/17 that my file was sent to exams and if they needed more info , they would "contact me directly". I havent received a request and no one has contacted me. He said he didnt see anything else and I "shouldnt be worried" because there are no other notes in my file. However, there wasn't a release date for my check ,either!

I'm not tripping (yet) only 6 weeks in.

I would wait

IF I hadn't sent my ppwk in already, I would wait to file the credit next year. The turn around time will be about the same and you could get it direct deposited. Amended returns are NOT directly deposited. IF someone is getting the FTBTC directly deposited, they likely filed an extension and claimed the credit, not an amended return. Also amended returns are done manually so they take alot more time to do them and they are more heavily scrutined.

If you haven't sent it in yet, I would HIGHLY recommend waiting.

Just got ours

Closed on August 12, sent in on August 13 and got it today with $100 interest. We sent in everything we could. Copy of last years taxes, amendment form and HUD. I think the key is to send as much stuff as you can. Very quick turnaround of 7 weeks.

Good Luck!


Well, i am trying not to get too overly excited at this point, BUT I just talked to my advocate at the IRS and she said that indeed the processing did finish on my refund and should definitely mail out on the 9th of October and should be for $8147.75. This is awesome and I hope that it really gets to me. This Friday is my 23rd week since sending my ammended return in, so by time I get it it will have been about 25 weeks of total wait time. good luck to everyone still waiting!

Spouses who don't qualify

I don't understand why, when I had no ownership interest or entitlement to my spouses home before it was sold. Why I am penalized by not being able to qualify for the first time buyers tax credit. It seems like there should be an exemption if I can prove that I truely had no ownership entitlement to the home even through marriage, furthermore he bought the home before we married. Another site says the IRS is considering to allow the first time buyers credit to spouses who had no ownership rights but I can't find any updates. Could a Tax attorney or mortgage attorney help get the tax rebate. Seems to me it would stimulate the housing industry as well as the economy.

which is better???

which is better? filing and ammended returned or wating for the next tax year coming up. And if you wait til the next tax year..will it be with your regular refund or what?? DOES ANYONE KNOW???PLEASE HELP.

My mistake!!

OMG! I was looking over copies of what I sent in, 1040x and 5405 and saw where I had made a small mistake that may explain why my file was sent to examination. In my explanation of why I amended return I put "I am amending this return to claim FTBTC for home purchased 7/20/09 . I have enclosed supporting documentation" . (deed and Hud1)

Just noticed that I put "7/20/09" as the close date in the explanation, but the CORRECT date was 7/10/09! I did put 7/10/09 in the part at the top that says date property acquired and HUD1 and deed says 7/10 of course, but that small discrepancy very well may have been the red flag..


first time buyer tax credit

My husband purchased a home in sept. of 2000 we where not married at the time, we married in May of 2004 but kept the Home in his name only, (my name is not on the Title, Deed, nor in any way shape or form do I have any ownership in the home). My question is, am I able to purchase a home under the First time Buyer Tax Credit Program I have never owned a home before. According to the Washington Post they say probably the IRS is looking in to it but I can't seem to get any further updates and time is running out. Also we sold that home 1 year ago and have been renting since.

IRS Hotline was Friendly and Informed for Me

I called the number that was previously posted:
1-800-829-0582 * Press 1 for English* then the Extension number is: 462

I waited less than 5 minutes to speak to a person. After verifying who I was, the agent was able to tell me the status and the fact that the check will be mailed next week. The proof will obviously be in whether I receive the check shortly, but the IRS was friendly and informed from my perspective.

Closed on 8/4. Mailed the amended return on 8/10. Next week will be 8 weeks.

Change of address

when I got my tax return amended the tax accountant didnt say anything about a change of address, and I figured the tax credit check would be mailed to the new address on the amended return. Isnt that a given when you are sending out a first time home buyers check? They said my check was sent to my old address and if the check is sent back to them they will send a new one. Does anyone know how long that takes? I have been waiting for 18 weeks and am hoping not to have to wait the full time again.

Hopefully when you moved,

Hopefully when you moved, you registered with the post office to forward your old mail to your new address. If you did that, then you should get it either way.

Yeah I did about 3 months

Yeah I did about 3 months ago, but still no sign of the check. They said it was mailed off on the 18th of Sept. I'm not really sure how long the forwarding process is at the post office. I am just one town over then I used to be.

They dont foward those types

They dont foward those types of documents. They will send it back to the IRS, I would call them and update your address.
I had moved and when my taxes were done last year H&R block used the wrong address and I had to call them with my new one.

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