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.  



What State are you from?

What State are you from?


I have contacted my congressman. I did not expect to hear anything from him. The day I e-mailed him I just got a general response that they send out to everyone.I was about to give up hope but in a couple a weeks I got another e-mail saying that they were sending me out a release form so they could call the IRS on my behalf. I received it the next day and sent it back to them today. I am trying not to get excited but I hope they help me. If I cannot talk to the IRS and find out anything maybe they can. It gives me some hope. My 16 weeks was up yesterday. I had been told that I could call back on that day and they would write a referall and send to that mystery person that has my file. I have been told that on 2 different ocassions. Yesterday when I called he said that I could not do that for another 30 days and that something had been mailed out to me on the 15th. The day before my 16 weeks were up they mailed something out to me. That in turn gives them 30 more days.LOL.But get this I was told to call back in 30 days if I had not received their letter. Why in the world should I give a letter 30 days to get to me. It is absurd. This has been really hard on me and I have offered to send in anything they needed but I have just had to wait like everbody else. I am appalled that people are getting their returns back in 4 weeks and some have been waiting 20+ weeks. If you want me to prove to you that I qualify than I will. Just let me!!!!!!! I will let you know if my Congressman can help me.

laughing to keep from crying

I''m not even annoyed anymore. To read that someone that mailed their return in AFTER me, but yet a received a check BEFORE me makes me realize how inept, incompetent and ridiculous the IRS really is.

Logically, why not COMPLETELY process the returns in the order they are received. What other way would make COMMON and business sense??

The ONLY reason I could think that could possibly make my amended return get sent to The Examination/Fraud Unit, is the fact I get back a rather large refund ($6k) when I file my regular return each year, So maybe they want to make sure they're not going to erroneously send me back over $14k this year, lol. Maybe that's not the case, but I wonder if the ppl being audited/screened get back larger regular refunds than the ones that didnt get sent to the Examination Unit.

I'm grasping straws, I know, lol. I'm not upset, just morbidly curious as to why the huge diff in time and why some returns get flagged and some don't.

Amended was disallowed and we have a chance to appeal!

Well I received a letter after waiting for 18 weeks that our amend was disallowed, because we had primary ownership residence showing in Oregon. I called I.R.S. and explained to them that I had moved to another state in 2004 and that we had sold that home and never lived there again. So the agent said to send him everything that showed when we relocated to the state I now reside and it seemed that we might qualified after all. I just don't want to get my hopes up, but it feels good to have a little hope again. So if you are in my same situation, remember to fight it. Your primary home supposed to be where you have lived in the past 3 years even though you owned a home in another state. I'll keep you posted and see what happens. I wonder if I have to wait another 16 weeks for an answer.


I closed on my house on May 21... I took my sweet time mailing in my amended tax form (why I have no idea).. and mailed it in on July 30, 2009. They received it on Aug 4. I called two weeks ago to check the status and she said something, but not a check, was being mailed to be on Sept 7 - I got nothing. Called again last week and there was a new message that said Anyone who mailed their stuff in by July 30 should call a different number. I called that number and they said all the checks from that time period were being mailed and I should expect mine to be mailed on Sept 18. I AM HOPING THIS IS TRUE. I'll let you all know!!

to hoping

Hi. Still waiting for my check as well. I mailed my amended return on July 9th and they received it on July 13th. What is that number they told you to call if you mailed your return before July 30th? Thank you.


IRS received my amended return June 4th in Atlanta, GA. I've called a couple times and they could only tell me that they received my return and to call back after 16 weeks. I called today 800-829-0582 ext 462 and also spoke with a very nice rep. (Thank you to whomever posted this #) I'm on my 15th week and they said my refund is pending and a check should be mailed out no later than October 2nd. We will see if my check comes in the mail...

Our return was received

Our return was received June 1 at Atlanta. I called after 12 weeks from mailing, then called again a week later to be told it had been reassigned to someone else, told me to wait. To call back if I haven't received anything by Oct. I also called the 800-820-0582 ext 462.
It really gets to us when we read so many that mailed after us have already received their checks. We need a new roof plus other repairs on our home. If I had known in advance it would take so long we would have prepared for it. Usually amended returns take 8-12 weels. We're at 15 and counting.

I mailed my forms on 7/15

I mailed my forms on 7/15 which is before I actually closed because my accountant said I could. I tried to check the status online and it would never tell me anything so I called 800-829-0582 x 462 to check the status. I was told that it was received on 7/20 but will take 12-16 weeks from that date. The rep also asked me a bunch of questions like how my original 2008 taxes were filed, paper or electronic - so maybe that makes a difference in the wait time? They also wanted to verify my employer which I thought was weird, but I work in the family business so maybe that stuck out to them because the company name is the same as my last name. So from what I've been reading from other people who have or have not gotten their returns I'm in my 9th week and if it takes the full 16 weeks it should be mailed out the first part of November. The funny thing is though my boyfriend who is a mortgage person said one of his clients closed after I did, filed after I did, and it only took them about 3-4 weeks to get their check! So I guess I will wait - good thing all the stuff I bought has interest free financing or no payments due so I'm not being bombarded with extra credit card debt.


IRS received my amended return June 4th in Atlanta, GA. I've called a couple times and they could only tell me that they received my return and to call back after 16 weeks. I called today 800-829-0582 ext 462 and also spoke with a very nice rep. (Thank you to whomever posted this #) I'm on my 15th week and they said my refund is pending and a check should be mailed out no later than October 2nd. We will see if my check comes in the mail...

Got lucky

I guess we got lucky. We closed on July 27th, mailed only the two IRS forms in (1040X and 5405) about a week later, and we received out check yesterday with $88 in interest. Only waited about 7 weeks total. We mailed to the Atlanta office.

We mailed our ammended

We mailed our ammended return on August 19th. I just called and spoke to an exremely nice woman, that said ours has been processed and a check will be mailed out in 3-4 weeks. Does this mean that they probably won't ask for any additional paperwork??? Has anyone been told this, and if you have, how long did it take for you check to actually come??? Thanks....we live in Wyoming and mailed our return to the Fresno office.

From my understanding, it

From my understanding, it means that you won't be asked for additional paperwork. If they were able to give a timeline for when the check would be mailed, it means that processing is complete and that there were no problems with your return. You should also be able to call back within a week or so and have them give you an exact date. That's what I did. I was told that mine would be mailed on Sep 18. From what I heard, that means that it is the day that you will actually receive the check; not sure about that info though. I guess I will see on Friday...

Just spoke with IRS

Mailed in my tax forms on 15 August to Fresno, CA office

Received according to their system on 21 August.

The representative said today, that my check will be in the mail on 25 September.

So if the check is actually mailed at that time, I should have a check by the last week of September. wait time, 7 weeks....hopefully.... I'll believe it when I see it.

Hang in there and be hopeful!


Is this stimulus going to be extended to 2010?

If I buy the house with my wife, is the tax return going to be $8000 or $16000?


10% or 8k

It's actually 10% of what you pay for your house with the max. amount you can receive being 8,000.
So if you for say buy a house at 50,000 the most you can get is 5000.
If you buy a house at 160,000 the most you can get is 8,000.

Arlindo, this site is only

Arlindo, this site is only for those ANXIOUSLY awaited their check! LOL! Just kidding... I am not sure if the stimulus will be extened to 2010 but if so the return will b $8000 total. It is $4000 each for those married filing seperately.

I have not heard any thing

I have not heard any thing about the first time homebuyers credit being extended. The max one may receive is $8,000. and that is if you meet all the requirements.

Check Received

I mailed my amended return (without HUD) on July 23 to Fresno office. When I called the IRS a few weeks later, I was told my process date was July 29. I received a letter in the mail on September 4 stating that I would be receiving the full credit. I got the check on September 8 and it included $79 interest. I deposited the check at my bank on September 9. As of today, September 14, only $5,000 of the $8,000 has been made available - the rest is still on hold.


I called the bank today and was told the IRS requested the hold. The remaining balance will be released on the 18th, which is 7 business days after deposit.

That sounds about right. My

That sounds about right. My bank does the same thing...


This whole business of the tax credit and everyone's posts is very frustrating . I called 2 times to the IRS after about 10 weeks, and nothing... then @ 15 weeks... next Friday will be 16 weeks... they said only after 16 weeks we can ask for a referral to get an expedited return.

If I knew it was going to take so long....I would have planned differently. I spent money on some flooring with no interest no payments for 6 months...expecting i would have the return by then so I wouldn't have to pay any interest.

that is up in Oct.

let's hope we get the amended return by then.

Still Waiting.....

I filed my amended return on May 1st. It's been 21 weeks this week since I sent it in. I have been trying to compare my story and others vs. people that have stated that they got their refund within 4 weeks. I think it could be due to location. I am in Portland, Or and have to file through the CA office and I am thinking people in the Midwest may not have the housing market we do out here, so maybe they don't have as many claims, therefore theirs are getting processed faster? Anyways, after 16 weeks a guy at the IRS finally told me of a number you can call to claim hardship and possibly get your check back faster. Apparently you have to be in danger of losing your house though in order to get your money faster. My doctor bills, over due electric, and car registration that I don't have money for is not good enough. After filing to get my money faster (even though I should have had it at least 5 weeks ago according to them), I have been told this process can take up to 6 weeks and is by approval only! I should have already had the frickin' money already!! I should not have to file for hardship or be in danger of losing my house in order to get it. I was promised I would get it within 8-12 weeks when I bought my house. This is rediculous! And I agree with the previous post someone wrote about the government just stalling because they really may not have the money. I could see that happening.

I have been waiting 21 weeks

I have been waiting 21 weeks as well ... I feel you! I've only called one time - about 4 weeks ago - and was given only general information. The lady said "It is taking 12-16 weeks now, so give it another week." Ha! Yeah right ... as long as I get it sometime ... Maybe my Christmas at least????

Let it go, then shout NO!

One would be wise to just let it go and all the stress with it. Let it be a nice surprise if and when the check arrives in your mailbox. After all, this is YOUR money they STOLE from YOU in the first place. When the thug on the street that stole your wallet comes back later and returns it, do you yell at him for taking so long? Or do you hold him responsible for stealing from you?

The IRS is a nothing but the strong-arm division of the dominant domestic terrorist organization, the United States Federal Government (by definition). Surprise all you government health care proponents, the IRS will be running that too!

If you put your faith in government, especially the Federal Government, to help you with anything, I hope you've learned a valuable lesson. Why would anyone trust these scumbags? They have no obligation to you. You are nothing but a piggy bank to them. A subject. A slave. Haven't people figured out yet what's happening?

Let them keep their carrots, let them keep their bribes. It's time to start shouting "NO!" to these criminals. WE ARE A FREE PEOPLE AND WE WILL NOT OBEY!

Dear Tree of Liberty, your

Dear Tree of Liberty, your post is hilarious yet true! However I still want MY check ASAP!!! and yes I am waiting...

I am really getting tired of

I am really getting tired of this crap! How can they be advertising this so much when they are so behind! I have been waiting for 7 MONTHS now!!! People are getting their check 4 weeks after they send it! WHy can't they go in the order they are recieved? We baught this house thinking that the repairs would be able to get fixed when we recieved the check and still (7 months later) NO CHECK! I don't want to hear that they are only human and they have lots of work to do...i have a job, i do my work! They should do theirs! We do our work in accordance to who came first! I honestly don't believe the gov has the money. They couldn't even pay back the car dealerships for the Cash 4 Clunker crap! Sorry to sound so angree but you have to understand that this is absolutly rediculus!!!

Still waiting...

It's understandable to be so angry, and I totally agree! My Husband, and I, closed on our house on April 27th. We had H&R Block complete our amended tax return, and send it certified mail on April 29th (IRS says they received it a week later). It has been 19 weeks, and still no check. The lady I spoke to last told me that there were alot of people sending in returns that did not qualify. Therefore, they were all being sent for further evaluation (is that what you call an audit?). I have called the IRS a total of three times in 19 weeks, and was told the last time not to call back until October 15th. It is very frustrating! I have a government job with our local county. There are times when individuals are waiting for me to process checks for them. I understand that the IRS has to do the same on a much grander scale, but I always do my best to make sure that I send my customers their checks as soon as I can. They are counting on that money, and I understand that!


My name's Josh, I bought a house in April 2009 when I got out of the military. Wife and I were sad we couldn't find a home and thought we were going to have to move into an apartment, then we found a home (after we had already filed for 2008). So, after about 2 weeks we filed our amended return and sent it in on April 21-ish... well here is the nightmare timeline:

-Sent amended return on April 21 with tracking info, verified it arrived
-Called around June 15-ish to ask if it had been received. Was Horrified when IRS Rep notified me that it did not show that they had received it, but that I should wait up to 12 weeks.
-Called end of July, same status, Rep said that I should refile since they had not received it by now.
-Mailed in a new form last week of July, around week 13 or so since mailing my original.
-Waited 2-3 weeks, called in mid August to verify that new form had been received. I could not have received a more inflammatory answer from IRS: "Sir, we show that we have received two amended returns. Your first return was received on April 24th, and the second on August 2" --me: "WHAT?! Why did you tell me three times that you never got my first return?" -- IRS: "Well sorry sir, you should have waited up to 16 weeks" -- me: "YOU told me to refile after 12 weeks. " --IRS: "Sorry sir, but we extended it to 16 weeks" --me: "WELL WHY DIDNT ANYONE TELL ME SO I WOULD NOT HAVE SENT IN A SECOND ONE " --IRS: "Sir, we are not required to notify you when we extend our deadlines" --ME: "WELL F---- ME , F--- MY LIFE..... When will I get my money?" -- IRS: "sir you just delayed your return 16 weeks because of your second return, so it can take up to 16 weeks from getting your second return" --Me: "WHAT THE F@$%.... THIS IS BULL$H**" -- IRS:"Sorry sir, "---CLICK.....

-So I got a phone number and some extension from my mom who prepares taxes, and it was an extension for advanced accounting over at IRS... so I got a guy who was somewhat more helpful, he said he could send a note over to processing, and have them disregard the second tax return, and also require them to send me a letter by mail explaining what was taking so long.

So whatever this whole thing blows, If I still don't see this return by my second filing + 16 weeks, which should be around mid november, then I guess I Might as well wait until tax 2009 fililng. But my wife and I really could use the money.

This is why you should never trust/depend on the government for anything.

Josh that is what is so

Josh that is what is so frustrating. There is nobody you can turn to to call them out. We have no help and it is frustrating. My 16 weeks are up and I still have not heard one word from them and get a different story everytime I call. Good luck to you and keep us posted.

can you by any chance share

can you by any chance share that number you called?

Here is the # 800 829-0582

Here is the # 800 829-0582 ext 462

I just dont understand

So I called IRS yet again Sept 11, after I was told by a couple of agents thats when my 16 weeks are up.....So this agent on the line says " Your 16 weeks is up on Sept 26th....I told him that other agents told me to call back this week and that Im confused and feel like Im getting the run around.....I mailed my amended taxes May22 they recieved it May 26.......He tells me that Hes looking at my call records and he sees that they told me Sept26.....I know what the heck they told me. He told me that its with a certain group because of the amount of the refund. I asked him if thats the same group it was in few weeks ago"processing". And the guy just ignored me and told me to stop calling so much its just delaying your money.....What the f**k!!!

It is so frustrating. They

It is so frustrating. They always go by 4 months. At no point were we told 4 months. It is 16 weeks!!!!!! Duh...Why dont they get that there are more than 28 days in a month.

they are idiots

I was in the same situation. Mine was received April 10th, so I called Aug 31st when my 16 weeks were up. The agent told me i had to wait until Sept 10 because that would be the end of my 16 weeks. I said no, thats 4 months, which is more than 16 weeks. They told me they were measuring the time limit as 4 months, even though they are telling taxpayers 16 weeks. I was incredibly angry about this. Here I am, 5 months into it, and I my return was just sent to someone to process 2 weeks ago! Now I am being "examined", where I have to send in a bunch of information.... The IRS didn't even tell me this, I found out because I wrote my elected officials and one of them is helping me out! I just talked to my newly-assigned taxpayer advocate today and she said it could be mid November before I get my check! They sure are giving everyone the run-around. I feel like they are just "examining" my amended return to make sure I qualify like everyone else because they messed up and didnt process my return within their given time, so they are trying to cover it up by saying I need to be basically audited. This whole experience is so frustrating. People, write your elected officials for help! My congressman has been the only one to reply, his office is who is helping me. My senators and the white house have not responded. Seems like the more local you go, the more likely they are to help you, too. Good luck everyone, we all need it!

I am in the exact place

I am in the exact place you are. They received our return on May 27th. I was told to not call back until Sept 27th at 16 weeks. What the .........? That is not 16 weeks that is 3 months!!!! Their is a difference. He put me on hold to "calculate" the 16 weeks and sure enough he came back on the line and said 16 weeks was Sept 16th. That is this wed. I will call then and I am sure I will be told the same thing you were to wait till the end of Sept. WHY WANT SOMEBODY HELP US!!!!!!!

Its me again. It is the

Its me again. It is the 16th of Sept. My 16 weeks are up today.They received my return on May 27th. Who wants to take bets they will tell me they have till Sept. 27.Bet ya 8,000. LOL. All bets will take 16 weeks to process unless it goes to audit.

Pure Luck..or lack of...

There is obviously no set "rules". From what I'm gathering, it's just luck or the roll of the dice. I sent in my HUD AND deed August 11th and they STILL sent my file to the "Examination Unit" and I see posters that sent their forms with OUT HUD1 to the same Austin office a few days before I sent mine that have received a check. In 5 weeks!

Trying to guess, predict and determine how long the wait will be is impossible. It is what it is. Hud ppwk obviously makes NO diff. The lady told me I will likely receive a letter from the "Examination Unit" asking for the same daggone ppwk I pro-actively sent in! I waited a full month to send in my amended return. If I knew then what I know now, lol..


I sent my ammended paperwork and Hud 1 paperwork in on 8-8-2009 and received my check on 9-8-2009 to the Dallas TX office of the IRS. Not really sure why I received my check so fast but I did wait a month after buying my home before sending in my paperwork and i also checked the place on my ammended form for the IRS to send the check to my new address so i would not have to send any change of address paperwork. I also signed in the two places at the bottom of the 1040x saying i did my own paperwork. I am very happy that it did not take as long as some of the horrible stories i have been reading on this site. I have said a prayer for all who are trying to get there checks from the IRS. I know I needed my check and im sure we all need our checks with the way the economy is going.

That is unreal!!!!1 month

That is unreal!!!!1 month and you have a check.16 weeks and I have not heard one word.

Sent out August First and still nothing

I had sent out my ammended return August 1st I called today and was told there is nothing shown on my account. I asked if they recieved it and was told they did not know. has anyone else been told this. I sent to Fresno office!

Re:Aug 1st Still nothing...

Yes, they didn't show anything on mine for at least a month after I mailed it. They say that it can take some time to show when it was actually received. However, it did not take 7 weeks for mine to show that it was received and processing.... Sorry. I wouldn't suggest sending in another yet though because if you do, it will start your processing time over again.

same thing

my daughter mailed her amended form on may 5, she called after 4 weeks and was told there is nothing on file. it took another 3 weeks til she called back and was told they received it may 11th. anyhow, she purchased her house on april 30, and is still waiting for her check. she received a letter in early august saying they needed more info, she promptly faxed the info they needed, and is still waiting, she received a letter in the mail yesterday ( 9-18) she thought it was her check but it was 2 copies of a letter telling her she should hear something by nov. 2. this is just unbelievable. still waiting

I sent our amended return in

I sent our amended return in on May 20. We've called a few times to find out what was going on but got the run around every time. We just received a letter yesterday stating they needed more info in which I have already sent them the things they want. So now I must resend them and then wait another 6-8 weeks (according to the book they send you too) to hear back on that. I just don't understand. A friend of ours son bought a house and got his check in 5 weeks. Oh well, we might have it by the time we do next years taxes. Can't wait to see how many problems there is going to be for that stimulus for cash for clunkers. Glad I don't have to deal with that one.

it may take up to 12 weeks

it may take up to 12 weeks for it to actually how up as having arrived. It took that long for mine, and I just waited and I finally received my money today

Has anybody that has been

Has anybody that has been told they are under review ever actually received a check even though no documents have been asked for.

I just received my check

I just received my check today

So you had been under

So you had been under review? Had they asked you to send in more documents and how many weeks did you wait. Thanks

received check?

I am preparing my 1040x and 5405 to be sent today. Just curious as to what IRS office you sent your amendment to? Did you use a service like H&R block?


My wife and I bought our house at the end of Feb., it's now September 11th, 7 MONTHS. That is insane. The IRS is incompetent, and downright dishonest. They have lied to me since day 1, and I think they should be held accountable to the American people.

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