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.  



Hello, Your return is a bit

Hello, Your return is a bit more complicated since you filed for the 7500 originally. You might want to consider getting a professional tax preparer to help. If you go to H&RBlock ask for the manager. This comes from a professional with 17 yrs experience.

See if you make a mistake you will only delay everything even longer than others are experiencing.

Good Luck

Amended Return

IRS received our amended return on 4-8-09 and was told they had 12 weeks to process and was told nothing else. 7-8-09 I called, this time was told I never turned in my 324 C form back in that was sent on 6-16-09. I was 100% sure I never received that letter even though they suggested I must have misplaced it. They transferred my call again and this time was told "Well they never actually sent the letter but were just "thinking about it". That they were "tying" up some loose ends and I should be receiving it within two weeks. (Those were her exact words) Of course nothing came. I again called. The story this time is that Oh yes they did send the letter out and never got a response so it shows your file has been closed for no response. It gets crazier... Well they will open it back up and I am to give them 30 days to get it to me. (Snail mail is that slow?) Of course I called again and No the letter has not been issued yet. (Imagine that) This time I was told that at this point in the processing I can be given a local tax advocate to investigate the problem. That they have 7 business days to contact me and for some reason if they do not here is the "National" tax advocate hotlines number 877-777-4778 (if anyone else is in the same "stage" of the "process". We are being put on a holding pattern to be sure. I just hope we eventually get our money as my husband lost his job after 25 years. Wow isn't life grand here in the good ole USA.

Received my credit

I mailed my amended return on July 2 and received a check at my new address (even though my original refund had been direct deposit) on August 10, so it took less than six weeks. I am in Arkansas, so my return was processed at the Kansas City, MO center. I also received $58.44 in interest!

processed quickly

I live in Arkansas, as well and I mailed mine in July and they told me that mine was already processed and would be mailed in the next couple of weeks. If it is processed does that mean that everything is okay and it just waiting to be mailed. I took it to mean that so I am now waiting for my check. If it comes this week it would have been about 4 weeks.


We filed our amendment the first week of May, it has almost been 16 weeks and we have not heard anything. I called the hotline, they told me to call back in another 45 days if we haven't heard anything!

My wife and I are in the

My wife and I are in the exact same boat! We mailed our forms in on may 11th and called the irs at the end of August. They told us it should be here by the end of September but nothing yet. I'm gonna call them again soon. This is crazy.

me too !

I sent my refund in on my 5th they said they recived it on may 11 th and that it would be 12-16 weeks and still nothing i am very sad : ( cant belive this is so sucky

I wouldn't advise anybody to

I wouldn't advise anybody to "count" on this check coming, or planning for this money in their monthly budget. That's just setting yourself up, especially when dealing with the IRS. My wife and I purchased our first home and closed on June 5th. Now, I filed an extension on my taxes because I was told the amended return would take close to two months longer than filing an extension, and we knew that we were buying before the end of summer. It is being reviewed, they requested the info, it was faxed the next day, and it has still not been assigned to an examiner. Grrr!

For folks that aboslutely positively need this money, you can contact your local tax payer advocate office and try to get them to go to bat for you, but you need to show that you are in a desparate economic hardship by not having this money.

Still waiting on our tax credit

We closed on June 18 and we are also still waiting. We have gone through "review" and now we are being "examined". We also faxed the required info the next day. The lady I spoke with on August 13 said to allow up to 45 days and if the refund is issued to allow another 2 weeks. This is just garbage. What other company would be able to stay in business keeping people waiting like the IRS? This has put a lot of people on the spot. They have purchased homes needing work and now they have to wait and wait for this "incentive" to come through. Our return was a very simple one with no itemized deductions. We would just like our refund that was promised to stimulate the economy!


I purchased a co-op 6 years ago. I am currently selling it. Would I be eligible for this tax credit or is a co-op considered a "home purchase".


What number are you calling

What number are you calling to check the status? I mailed my amendment off May 30th and have not heard anything. Can you tell me where to call?

We closed on May 27 I mailed

We closed on May 27 I mailed our amended return May 27 or 28. I haven't heard anything. I am curious about what you found out??? Thank you

IRS number to call

The number to call for a status on your credit is 1-800-829-0582 Ext 462.

Time frame?

I know its really hard to estimate but I wanted to ask and see if someone else has had a similar situation. We filed about mid July and just recieved something yesterday requesting more info. We sent it to them today and I was wondering if we would be waiting another couple months or if it wouldn't be as long. Does anyone have a time frame from when they had to send additional documents from when they got their return? Thanks!

Your process starts all over

Your process starts all over again,the second you send something in new it starts over,ive been waiting 18 weeks i sent form 5405 8 weeks ago and they just told me it restarts the process

Im thinking you should be

Im thinking you should be prepared to wait a few more months. I filed an amended return in March. It took them until the end of July to tell me more documents for verification are needed. I sent the requested documents in 3 weeks ago and just called to follow up. I was told to allow 30 days for them to "gather my documents." I'm wondering if the credit will ever come!!

$8000.00 Refund

I just called the IRS and spoke to a representative. He told me that some additional information is needed and it was scheduled for mailing on Aug. 17th. Can you share with me , what additional information they are seeking? Sounds like another Government delay tactic to me. However, we filed on June 9th, 2009 and the representative said, the additional information should not interfere with the now projected 12-16 weeks delivery. It was earlier projected to be 8-12 weeks. Thanks. Hope this helped in some way.

How long does it take for review???

I am in the same situation as you are with having to send in documents. I was told by a representative at the number on my letter that it would take another two months for the review process to complete once they received my documents which would also take 5-10 business days from the day I faxed it in. So, it looks like we will be waiting a little while longer.

We filed our amendment in

We filed our amendment in May and still have not heard anything!

Married but 1 spouse NOT on mortgage or deed

We live in a house that was purchased by my wife before our marriage. My name is not on the deed or on the mortgage. If I attempt to purchase a new home without my wifes name on deed or mortgage would I qualify for the tax credit? Also, it seems like a loophole would be to pay 200 bucks for a divorce, one of the spouses buy a new house, get the credit and then get remarried...

Don't get divorced! If you

Don't get divorced! If you have never purchased a home yourself, you can still buy one and qualify for the credit.

Amended return

I too have been told that my return has not even been processed and it may take 16 weeks due to the high volume of filings. (We filed on May 25th) My husband and I are drowning in debt now and would like to buy our son a bunk bed, so he can stop sleeping on the floor. I don't understand how they can get away with this.

Called again

I called again today 8/12/09 because I seen on here where many of you where being told that your check was going to be or was mailed out and no mine is still being worked on and I asked them to check and make sure not letters or anything had went out and nothing was there they have not sent me anything my return was received April 27 and my 16 week starts Monday they said they have until the end of the 16 week to have it processed of course they do they are the IRS and we are just nobody's and I love how the people you talk to just act like you are bothering them and are rude most of the time I did talk to 1 nice lady but please at least you have a job these days and times. But I will be on week 16 Monday but I am the one that got her date changed In the beginning they said they received it the 10th of April so I would be on week 18 or so now but they changed it because they can. So I am happy some people are getting theirs I just hope mine comes soon I wanted to get some back to school clothes for my kids and not have to worry about how much I spend but I will when I get it just keep us posted on everyones news so the ones that have been waitting the longest will know it still will be coming. Signing off sad and frustrated

Who to call to check house credit?

Who did you call to check the status? I can't seem to get through all the automated phone steps calling main IRS line. Its like we've all sent our tax amendments into a black hole! Any suggestions on how to get a hold of these guys would be great! Thanks.

15 weeks today...

After 15 weeks I received a letter stating they need a copy of the HUD 1... I have faxed and mailed it ttoday, has anyone had to fax and or mail this over if so, how long after that did you get your check... I am being told another 45 days so much for 12-16....

15 weeks today...tell me about it!

I filed on April 1st and then recieved a notice the 1st week in July saying they needed more info...HUD and a few other things bc my house is brand new. I mailed it the next day and I called the IRS today to check on the progress...They told me there is nothing documented that they even recieved the info. I was also told that it would take up to 30 more days just to verify they have the info. It is so frustrating to be promised something esp $8000. I have many friends who have already recieved their money. I'm just going to forget about and hopefully if and when I do get it, it will be a great surprise. I bet we don't see it until october or november at the earliest. I just wish they would have asked for all the extra paper work up front rather than going back and forth.

Hi, just wondering. I mailed

Hi, just wondering. I mailed in my amended return the other day. Filled out the 2 necessary forms. (1040x and 5405) Was I supposed to mail a copy of the HUD in? Im noticing several people have. Maybe I should go ahead and mail it seperatly so they will have it? Please help. Thanks!

called today

My husband called today, they said they have received are amended forms and are processing it now and should give 12-16 weeks for the check to be mailed out! Hopefully it will come sooner!

feeling jipped

My husband and I purchased our first home on April 29th, we ammended our taxes on April 30 and I overnighted them the same day. One week later, I called to make sure the IRS got the ammendment and I was told that it could take up to 5 weeks for it to show up in their system. So, the first week of June I called back and was told it still wasn't showing they got them. We ended up being preoccupied the rest of the week due to a death in the family, so I called back on June 8th and was told they got them on May 2, that everything looked fine and to give them 8-12 weeks to process them. At the end of June we called just to check the status, that was when we were informed the waiting period changed to 12-16wks, but they said everything looked fine. July 11 my husband called and was told that they got our ammendment on June 8th and to give them 12-16 wks to process. He told the agent they didn't get it June 8th they got it May 2 and thats what we were told more than once, the agent said the previous people made a mistake in telling us that. So after he hung up on her, I called back and spoke to a different agent, I was told they reason they told my husband June 8 is because thats when they got our duplicate copy we sent in! We NEVER sent in a duplicate copy and were never even told to send in a duplicate copy! After putting me on hold atleast 5 different times, he informed me that the IRS would be contacting me within 30 days to let me know wether they would be going off of the date they recieved my original ammendment or my duplicate copy--THAT I NEVER SENT IN--needless to say, I am still waiting on my phone call from the IRS. I'd like to know who in the heck put mine and my husband's signature on this SO CALLED DUPLICATE. I think they are just trying to by themselves some more time. This is ridiculous!! Anyone else with this same situation by any chance?

Maybe the faxed copy was

Maybe the faxed copy was processed/received at a different time from the overnighted copy. Hence, two forms that seem as though they are duplicates.



10,000 tax credit?

When the 8000 tax credit expires, I've heard a rumor that it will be replaced, is this true?

A Turbo Tax representative

A Turbo Tax representative helped me with my First-Time Homebuyer Credit and I printed the 1040X, 1040, and Form 5405 and mailed it in. Exactly one month later I received a letter stating that I will be receving a check in the mail. The next day the check was in my mail box! It was to the new address, not the old one. But I did submit Form 8822 (Change of Address) and mailed it in with the rest of the tax forms. I have a friend that is having problems and received 2 letters already. She is getting really frustrated! But just to let you know the money can't be direct deposit! Thanks...

Recieved my check!

I found this site while I was waiting and I just wanted to say that I did get my check yesterday, it was less than 6 weeks! So there is hope, it is coming! I called last week and they told me it would go out the 10th, and sure enough, there it was.

did you do an amendment or

did you do an amendment or did you file with your regular tax return?

Who do I call?

We filled on June 4th and had the amendment done by an accountant who told us it would take 2-4 weeks. Now, at week10, we still have not seen or heard anything. The accountant gave us an 800# to call but I could never actually get through to talk to anyone. Do you know who to call to make sure that it is atleast in the process??


well i did mines in July. i

well i did mines in July. i called to check to see if they got it the man said yes but their backed up and it's going to take 14-16 weeks to get the check, but they already worked on it and he said wow that was fast i never seen that before. so i said wow OK.. but i called yesterday and this nice man told me they mailed it out on Aug 10th so I'm thinking maybe today it will be here, I really hope so..

how long it take after the mailing date they told you

august 21 they told me how long to get to me you know? thanks Laura

So there is really no logic ...

I've seen people going anywhere from 3-?? weeks. I'm just glad our house doesn't actually need anything and I just want to buy a used boat, lol.

16 weeks and counting...No check

I bought my first home on April 9, sent in my amended return on the 15th and the IRS reveived it on the 21th. It exacting 16 weeks tomorrow and I've been told by one of the agent that it could be another 2 weeks to receive my money! Is there anyone else that has been waiting for over 16 weeks?

Almost 18 weeks and still haven't received anything!!!!!!

I have been waiting 18 weeks this Friday. Last week I called and they filed a form 4442 which is a referral to a tax advocate that has 30 days to close my case and send my a check. They also told me that I will receive additional interest that is owed to me for the wait. Not sure if it after the original 12 weeks or the extended 16, but that I will get a phone call or the check in the mail by then with interest. Shuuuut. I need the money now. I am still in the being processed stage. No letter in the mail requesting more information. Nothing. They received it on April 17th. I hope that I don't have to wait more than six months. Anyone else waiting 18 weeks or more?

16 weeks

Sent ours on April 15th and it was received April 20th.
16 weeks and still waiting.

11 weeks

I've been waiting 11 weeks and called today to find out that my refund was closed by the person assigned but that a date to receive the check has not been put in the system yet. She said probably 2 weeks (it was closed last Friday) so hopefully in 2 weeks I'll have my refund. Anyone know how long it takes from when the processor closes the file to when a person receives their check? Keeping Fingers Crossed it's soon. My new house needs carpet but I was waiting on refund to do it!

Tomorrow will be 18 weeks

Tomorrow will be 18 weeks from IRS receipt for us. I'm trying to be as patient as I can and I've turned into a kid again checking the mail everyday looking for my new toy. I'll be placing my third call to the IRS on Friday if nothing arrives today or tomorrow. As long as it arrives by October it's all good (we booked a vacation many months ago in anticipation of this money) although sooner would be better.

Just got off the phone with

Just got off the phone with the IRS. The nice lady said it finished processing today and the check should be in our mailbox sometime next week! It seems like today (August 14) is a magical day for a lot of people. I wonder if they're sending them out today by the thousands. I'll post a full debrief of our whole timetable once it finally arrives.



Called Today

I was told my check would be mailed Aug 14th for $8,069.56. Here's hoping.

Still Waiting

I'm in the same boat. I closed on my home on June 1st, mailed in the amended tax return on June 3rd. IRS told me they received it on June 9th. I just called and was informed that it was just assigned and was being processed and to contact them again in Mid September to end of September. I'm so upset, on June 30 I was laid off so I was really counting on this money and hoping that I'd have it by the end of August. We're really in a bind now because the 3 months reserve cash is now just a one month reserve. Who knows...maybe it'll get here for Christmas!

Hey Still Waiting

Mine started to be assigned on May 28th and today was informed my refund should be mailed within two weeks so hang in there!

12 weeks and now being

12 weeks and now being reviewed WTF??? I dont think I will ever get my return. Called the IRS waited forever to talk to someone then get hung up on. Then again waited and get hung up on. This is a joke if we owed them money they will be harassing me everyday asking where it is? But if they owe me money it gets put on the back burner.

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