Details About the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax CreditWant a free $8,000 tax credit just for buying a home? Well, if you’re a first-time home buyer, you may be eligible for a first-time home buyer tax credit of up to $8,000. If you ever thought about buying a home, now might be a good time to go for it.

I know this credit has been around for some time now. But earlier in the year I wasn’t too interested in it. Truthfully, I was mad that I didn’t get 8 Gs towards my home purchase, which I bought back in 2007. But, I’m over it now, and there’s been enough changes with this thing to warrant a fresh post from me. So, here goes.

About the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

Back in 2008, in attempts to spend our way out of trouble, the US Government passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. Included in the act was a credit for all first-time home buyers of $7,500. That credit was then replaced by a $8,000 tax credit as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The credit, as you can tell by the name, is meant to encourage the purchase of homes by people who don’t already have them. I guess the theory is that all these newbies get out there and buy the homes lost in foreclosure.

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How Much is the Home Buyer Tax Credit?

The 2008 credit was for $7,500, and unfortunately needed to be paid back. The current 2009 version is for $8,000, and never has to be paid back. That’s amazing, isn’t it? I’m so jealous.

To clarify, the credit is “up to” $8,000. It’s actually the lesser of 10% of the home price or $8,000. That’s a nice chuck of free cash. I can think of a lot of things I could do with that credit.

It should also be noted that the credit is refundable. So, it does more than just offset taxes owed. You get the extra cash in had.

Who is Considered a First-Time Home Buyer?

Okay, so if I don’t qualify for this credit, who does? First-time home buyers according to the IRS guidelines are taxpayers who have not owned a principle residence at any time during the three years prior to the date of the purchase. So, really, it should be called “it’s been a while” home buyer credit.

And you must be purchasing the home. It can’t be a gift.

Another stipulation is that you must stay in the home for three years. (How is the IRS going to audit that one?)

Important Dates

The home purchase should be made between January 1, 2009 and November 30, 2009 to be eligible for the 2009 credit of up to $8,000. Purchases prior to January 1, 2009 are only eligible for the 2008 version.

So, the key thing to take away from this is to make sure you find your best mortgage rate and purchase your home before December 1, 2009. I bet that will be a hectic closing day for some. Although, I’m thinking this credit might get extended, cash-for-clunkers style. UPDATE: The credit was extended as predicted.

How to Apply to Get the Credit Now

Getting the credit is extremely easy. The IRS has created a form to be filed with your return. It’s Form 5405, and it essentially only requires that you list the date of the purchase, purchase price, and the address of the home. The 2009 credit can be taken against your 2008 return. So, if you buy a home today and qualify for this credit, you can file an amended 2008 return and receive your $8,000 credit now. Actually, the process apparently takes around six weeks. Still, that’s fast action.

Income Limits

In it’s continued assault on high earners, our government required that this credit only be given to those under certain income levels. Joe the Plumber would be proud. Anyway, here are the specs: the credit phases out for incomes between $75,000 to $95,000 for a single filer, and $150,000 to $170,000 for couples.

Fraudulent First-Timer Claims

When I first looked into this credit and how easy it was to make the claim, I thought surely the IRS must be getting flooded with fraudulent claims. After all, you don’t need to turn in anything but the one Form 5405. No closing documents. No sales contracts. Nothing.

Recent news is saying that there is fraud out there. And the IRS is cracking down on the tax preparers that are caught over-doing it, and/or skimming from the top. Tax preparers are obviously held to a higher standard. If the IRS catches you, you’ll likely just face back taxes and penalties. That makes me think many taxpayers might be cheating the system here and taking their chances for the $8,000.

Regardless, this looks to be another tax payer funded program that could legitimately put cash in your pocket, if you’re in the right place at the right time. I wish I was.

I’d love to hear your story of buying a home this year as a first timer. If you recieved your $8,000 credit already, or if you are planning on getting it before the deadline, let us hear about it in the comments below.

Last Edited: March 28, 2013 @ 12:45 am The content of is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, financial writer, FinCon CEO, and husband and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.


  1. I am actually one of those that is hoping to close before December 1 in order to get my $8k. I just put in an offer for a short sale property on monday, and as far as my agent has told me it could take 1-2 months for the bank to get back to me. Add on the 30 days it could take to get all the closing paperwork and everyhting together, and i’m pushing the envelope on that deadline. So we’ll see how it goes! $8k in my pocket would be mighty nice, but I want to have a house of my own no matter what!

  2. Hey PT – It’s PYF Betsy! :)

    I actually closed on a house April 16th… and after filing an extension on my taxes, I officially filed on the 18th… and promptly received my tax credit! I must say – as a first time home buyer that money can really come in handy – ESPECIALLY if you buy a home that’s a total fixer-up project!

    You’d also be proud to here I put half away into an emergency savings account! Way to pay myself first! :)


  4. I am buying a house with my boyfriend. We’re not married. How would we go about filing for the tax credit since we do our income taxes separately?

  5. From

    “Q. If two unmarried people buy a house together, how do they determine how much each may take of the credit?

    A. IRS Notice 2009-12 provides guidance for allocating the first-time homebuyer credit between taxpayers who are not married.”

    Link to Notice 2009-12:

    Hope that helps. :)

  6. I have enjoyed reading these posts. We just started the purchasing of a short sale today. I am also worried about the time crunch, the tax credit is what really motivated me to ‘take the plunge’. I was worried that I could not get the tax credit if it was a short sale deal and that is what lead me to this site. Thanks!

  7. hi
    I am planning to buy condo this year. do they consider homebuyer and can I can tax credit benifit? or that applicable for house only?

  8. @jay – any type of home will do.

  9. Cheryl Parino says:

    Can a home buyer who pays cash for the home receive the $8,000 tax credit? You don’t need a loan, correct?

  10. Does anyone know if there is going to be a 2010 tax credit????

  11. @Cheryl – Yes, cash or loan, you get the credit. Congrats on having that kind of cash!

  12. @JDD – I have no idea. I would bet that Congress will try to continue it.

  13. Do I not get the tax credit with my taxes that I file in 2009. I just bought a house that’s suppost to close September 25th but I was on school in 2008 so I didn’t file taxes. What do I do?

  14. @Mattm – Yes, you’ll get the credit when you file your 2009 tax return.

    I think you may have the option of filing your 2008 return late. But please contact a CPA for this answer.

  15. My father passed away in July and we have come to find out that my mother’s name is not on the mortgage loan (but is on the deed) to their home. According to our our lawyer and to the bank, she is not legally obligated to make the mortgage payments. She cannot afford to anyway, so the house will go into foreclosure. She would then like to buy a smaller house or condo. Is she eligible for the first time home buyer tax credit since she is not on the mortgage of her home?

  16. @Amy – I’m sorry to head about your Dad.

    That’s a tricky scenario you describe. I’m not sure I have an answer. I’d consult a CPA.

    Did she file “jointly” with your Dad in 2008?

    My guess is that she could take advantage of the credit because she will be a single filer on the date of the purchase and at year end.

    The IRS literature doesn’t speak on this particular scenario from what I can tell. Sorry.

  17. Keith Sherley says:

    My wife and I bought our house May 5th and filed an amended return that day. It has now been 17 weeks and when we called today they said we had been chosen for verification. They said that they will notify us within 45 days what documents they want and where to send them. Maybe we will get it by next year. The agent I talked to today said they are asking for verification on very high percentages of them.

  18. Good to know, Keith. Thanks for sharing. Please let us know what documents they require.

  19. We inherited an old farm house when we were married from my husband’s father about 20 years ago. We lost the house in June to a fire. We are building a house now. Do we qualify for the tax credit since we have never purchased a house?

  20. Hi,

    Great post! I’m about to go into contract to purchase a home. Do you know if there is any way to apply the $8k tax credit to my closing costs? Thanks.

  21. I purchased my home back in March and didn’t know that I could amend my taxes for 08 and go ahead and get the 8000.00 tax credit. So I amended them in July. I called the IRS to find out how long this process will take and they told me anywhere from 12-16 weeks. They said they have alot of people getting the tax credit so its backing everything up. So it may be November before I receive it. Hope this helps with anyone who has questions about how long the procedure will take.

  22. @Kim – That’s a good question. I would think so. I would ask your CPA to be sure though.

    @Lisa – I’m not sure. I think some lenders will give you a short term loan for that amount.

    @MICHELLE – Thanks so much for the info. :)

  23. My husband and I have an expected closing date on the purchase of our new home 9-20-09. Our accountant said if we file the amendment on ’08 taxes, we have to pay back the $8000. He says we need to wait until 2010 and file on our ’09 taxes in order to not have to pay it back. Is this true??

  24. @jodie – No, that is not true. The ’08 credit must be repaid. The ’09 credit (new legislation) is not repaid. You are eligible for the ’09 credit since you are buying your house in ’09. But you can get this ’09 credit early by amending your ’08 return. It’s the best of both worlds. Make sense?

  25. samantha Thomason says:

    We are building our house, they are trying to push to get it done in time for the deadline, but if it doesnt get done then we wont get the 8000 dollar tax credit. Do we know if they are extending it? I hope so, that was the main reason for us buying our house this year. Although it will still be nice to be in our own home!:) BUT who wouldnt want $8000!?!

  26. @samantha – no official word yet, but the industry is lobbying pretty aggressively. seems the only barriers are the health care focus and the desire to quit spending as much. here’s more

  27. My daughter doesn’t qualify for a loan, so we are going to use the equity in our house to pay for her house, in her name. So that would be a cash purchase and she will have to pay us back. My assumption is she would get the credit, but my question is, would there be a repercussion by us giving her the loan instead of a mortgage company? Thanks!

  28. I purchased my home on March 27th and quickly filed the paper work required. Beginning of July I called to find out why it was so delayed. They told me mine was chosen to be verified and that I would receive paper work in the mail within 30 days. Then Sept 4th I finally get a letter in the mail asking for a copy of my closing document. They want proof of purchase price, closing date, buyer and seller names, and the address again. Once you mail that paper work in it again says to wait another 30 days. Just FYI

  29. Is there any way that you can tell me if Contract-for-deed houses qualify for this credit as well? We have an excellent opportunity to get a new house this way and so far the legal side looks good as well as interest rate. We were a little worried about how the IRS defined home purchase. Any help would be appreciated.

  30. I purchased a house with my dad this year however my name was not on the mortgage, only the deed of trust. My dad is not able to claim the tax credit due to his income. Would I be eligible to claim this credit if I am not on the mortgage but only the deed of trust?

  31. I have two questions – is the $8,000 tax credit an actually check that is sent to the buyers?

    Also, what is the limit a person can make to qualify for the credit.

  32. We are US residents (not citizens) who pay US taxes and have just bought our first home in the US. I was just wondering if we would qualify?

  33. We closed on our home May 1st 2009. We were told 16 weeks before we’d see anything from the IRS. Received a letter September 4th 2009 telling us to expect another letter from the Fresno IRS office requesting more information. Received the letter asking for 3 items: 1)closing document showing all signatures, 2)tax stamp proof, 3) an offial letter from our city.
    We are gathering the info to send in. We thought we had sent in the correct forms with the correct paper. We haven’t owned a home since 1995. It has been a royal hassle. Now we are told it could be another 60 days!


  35. Roxanne Humes says:

    My mother is considering buying her first home and is currently renting. She does not file a tax return each year because she falls below the income guidelines; her only income is SSI and SSD; Would she still be able to qualify since she does not file? And do you know how this would work?

  36. We sold our home and closed Sept 2006 gave the keys to the new owner and had to be out. Well we got a call a couple of days later saying we needed to reclose due to financing. So, 2 wks later (after we’ve moved) we reclosed Oct. 12, 2006. Well we just built a new house and have moved in but will not close until Oct 1, 2009. I cannot move the Oct. 1st closing due to our construction loan has matured Will we be able to get any kind of credit?

  37. if i purchased a mobile home for 20000 would i get a 8000$ credit?

  38. if i purchased a mobile home for 20000 would i get a 8000$ credit?
    sorry i forgot to hit the emai box

  39. Seller wanna rent the house for 10 days after closing. We plan and should be able to cloase on late Oct. My qestion is will the 10 day renting disqualify us to get $8000. We are otherwise qualified for that credit.

  40. Only my name that is on the deed of a house we recently purchased. To qualify for $8000 tax credit, should we have to file singularly, or as a married couple?

  41. I bought my first home April 10,2009. I got a loan for the cost $55,000 plus $17,000 to make repairs to make it habitable. The lender took a 1st deed of trust for the 72,000 loan The house is over 100 years old and it was gutted when I bought it. All the repairs were make by july 15th 2009 and the city issued an Occupancy permit. Do I base the credit on $72,000 or the actual cost of $55,000.

  42. Hey everyone. I just finished a post where I tried to answer all the unanswered questions. Sorry it took so long. Good luck on your purchases. Follow this link for your answers:

  43. Hello,

    I got married in 8-09. Closing on a house in 10-09. i have previously bought a home that is not my primary residence but my husband has not. if we file separately and his name is the only name on the contract, can we be eligible for the 8k credit? what if he files ammendment to his 2008 taxes?

  44. I’m just curious as to if anyone has sent there return to the Kansas City, MO office and if so when and how fast did you get your 8K

  45. My husband and I are under contract to buy a house by October 30th, 2009. We just got married, however he is international (Argentina), and he can’t work until he gets his papers. I have to purchase the house in my name only.

    I will be filing singly for 2009, and am within the income limits for the $8000 tax credit. I have a trust fund that was left to me which is where 1/2 of the down payment will come from. He will be providing the other 1/2 to me. (total around 54K) Will this still allow me to be eligible for the tax credit?

  46. My husband and I are selling our house to our daughter and her fiance before the deadline (although they will not be married until next year.) Is her fiance eligible to claim the tax credit?

  47. The info required is the settlement statement when you close on your house. The address ,name of seller and buyer ,date and amount of purchase. My husband and I signed June 15th and filed our 2008 amended return June 19th. On the 16th of Sept. we recieved a letter requesting this info. I have called several times to check on the status and they tell me they recieved the info (we faxed it the next day) but they have not looked at it. I am to call by the 20th of Oct. if I haven’t recieved it. Unfortunatly my husband is barely working and we can barely afford the mortgage ,we desperatly need the money! Was told originaly it would take 8-12 weeks then found out it is taking up to 16 weeks for amended. I pray it comes soon, or we may lose our home.

  48. Gordon Jones says:

    I’m told that to apply for the 8,000 dollars, one has to have HUD ONE (both seller and buyer sides), the #5405, and a warranty deed???? Is this correct? Tks

  49. what state do you live in? my husband and i closed on our house august 24th. we then filed for the tax credit, and it is now october 15th and still no refund. how long did it take you to actually get yours back? it states….very shortly.


  50. I purchased a condo on Aug 28th and the same day filed for the tax credit. It is now Oct 20th and I haven’t received it in the mail. Is this normal? Who should I contact to find out the status for the credit?


  51. Frank Phillips says:

    My wife and I had to obtain a mortgage on a home we received through a living trust. The neighbor (not related) had no living family members and willed the house to us through the trust. She passed in October of 2008 and had a reverse mortgage of approx. $165k on the house. We had to obtain a first on this house to pay off the reverse mortgage balance and this loan only covered that, plus closing costs. The loan closed around July of 2009.
    I have been unable to determine if this home loan qualifies for the first-time buyer tax credit. And, before the question is asked – yes, it is our primary residence. We did not own before this…
    I saw in the IRS form a reference to inheritance –
    Are you out of luck on the credit?

  52. Michael A. says:

    Hello, I’m a firts time home buyer and I have the form fill up. But would like to know the address where to sent it. I live in central Maryland.

  53. $8,000 First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit at a Glance

    The $8,000 tax credit is for first-time home buyers only. For the tax credit program, the IRS defines a first-time home buyer as someone who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase.
    The tax credit does not have to be repaid.
    The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.
    The tax credit applies only to homes priced at $800,000 or less.
    The tax credit now applies to sales occurring on or after January 1, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010. However, in cases where a binding sales contract is signed by April 30, 2010, a home purchase completed by June 30, 2010 will qualify.
    For homes purchased on or after January 1, 2009 and on or before November 6, 2009, the income limits are $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.
    For homes purchased after November 6, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010, single taxpayers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000 qualify for the full tax credit.
    The $6,500 Move-Up / Repeat Home Buyer Tax Credit at a Glance

    To be eligible to claim the tax credit, buyers must have owned and lived in their previous home for five consecutive years out of the last eight years.
    The tax credit does not have to be repaid.
    The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to a maximum of $6,500.
    The tax credit applies only to homes priced at $800,000 or less.
    The credit is available for homes purchased after November 6, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010. However, in cases where a binding sales contract is signed by April 30, 2010, the home purchase qualifies provided it is completed by June 30, 2010.
    Single taxpayers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000 qualify for the full tax credit.
    Carmen Arruda

  54. Dane Fraher says:

    If I’m a first time home buyer and I purchase a home after december but before june, when would I claim that? Would I have to wait until 2010 tax season, or would I get the credit after I closed even though it may be after 2009 tax season?

  55. Diane Mathews says:

    On Nov 2009 we contracted with a builder to build our home on a lot we own. If for some reason there is a construction delay and we are not able to take occupancy by July 1, 2010, will we still be entitled to get the first time home buyer tax credit.

  56. Dane,
    Like with homes built in 2009 that were able to be claimed on 2008 returns, the same will be available for homes purchased in 2010. If you settle on your new home after Jan 1, 2010 you can still claim it on your 2009 tax return. If you have already filed your return by your settlement date, simply amend your return.

  57. I am curious if it makes a difference if you paid cash for home (modular) also wonder if you can include a porch that was added after home was delivered and set up?

  58. A question about principle residence: We owned and lived in a very, very old mobile home on a rented lot. We recently sold, (very cheaply) the mobile and bought a house. Does the mobile home on a rented lot count as a principle residence?

  59. I closed Jan 5, 2009. I filed for early reciept of 7500 credit on my original tax return. I tried filing an amended 2008 tax return after the law changed the max amount from 7500 to 8000. I was hoping to get another 500. My amendment was denied. I’m filing again for 8000 on my 2009 return. What will happen? Will I get 8000 minus the 7500 I received last year? Will I get both and pay the original 7500 back over 15 years?

  60. @Carleen – It makes no difference if you paid cash. I don’t think you can include the add on porch as part of the home price. I’m not quite sure though. See the IRS website.

    @Stdisam – Did you pay property taxes? and deduct mortgage interest?

    @Rex – Yours is a very unique situation. I just found this on the IRS website:

    “Q. I bought my home in 2009 (early) and filed my 2008 tax return claiming the $7,500 first-time homebuyer credit that has to be repaid. Now the expanded law provides for an $8,000 credit that doesn’t have to be repaid. What do I need to do to get the $8,000 credit that doesn’t have to be paid back?

    A. You can file an amended return.”

    To me that says that the IRS owes you $500. I don’t know why they rejected your amended return though. I suggest you visit a CPA.

  61. I did a amended return on my 08 taxes to file for the tax credit since I purchased my home in August. I filed for the tax credit via mail soon after, and Today January 1-19 I was told I was randomly audited? And the IRS agent couldnt tell me the # to call to check on that or what it was for..they just told me to call back in a week for updates. Anyone else know what this means?

  62. I am closing on my home on 1/27/10 and am a little confused about the first time homebuyer tax credit. A relative does me and my fiance’s taxes and she said that because we are not married we only qualify for $7500 max credit but every site I check shows that as the amount for 2008 and $8000 max for 2009-2010. Which amount is it?

  63. Hi..I have a question. If I had a foreclosure in Feb 2006 will I qualify for this tax credit if I close on a home in March of 2010?

  64. I am about to inherit a house that my grandfather passed on to me. I am in the process of purchasing a house in another state. Do i need to buy the new house before the inherited house is put in my name or does it matter since i wont be buying a house but inheriting it. I can prolong the passing of the title into my name. Is this necessary?

  65. followup: We had no mortgage and only paid a small fee for a tag sticker (just like for a car) on the old mobile home.

  66. if i made over 150k filing single do i qualify for the firs time home buyer 8000 tax credit

  67. @ereic – no, you made too much money. the top of the threshold is 95K

  68. Our son bought his first home in Utah in August 2009. He gets the credit of $8000. Now in March of 2010, he has taken a job in California. He needs to rent an apartment there, and he will keep the house in Utah, and he will still own it…..Does he have to repay the $8000 if he rents out all or part of the home in Utah?

    • Yes if the house will not be his primary residence or the house is rented out before the 3 year term, he will have to pay the credit back to the IRS.

    • Yes if the house will not be his primary residence or the house is rented out before the 3 year term, he will have to pay the credit back to the IRS.

  69. I am still waiting on getting my $8k. It has been 18 weeks and I called the IRS for the second time today (the first time they said a check was in the mail). They said that they are sending me a letter asking for more information before they send me a check. And I did fill out all the required information and form 5405 when amending my return. So it is not a quick 6 weeks to receive your 8k. This has been a painful process, I wish the government could get their act together on this. I hope to be receiving my return soon but I imagine it will be awhile by the time I get the letter asking for more information, fax them back what they need, and have them process my credit all over again, and finally (hopefully) send a check!

  70. I am living in a co-op build under National Housing Act section 221(d)(3). Nobody own the co-op. The residents pay $2k to buy a membership certificate and co-own it, and elect a board to manage it. We pay several hundred $ monthly rent. We are not allowed to rent the unit to other people. When we move out, we are not allowed to sell the unit, we only return the membership certificate and get the $2k back. We were told 10% of the rent goes to property tax. So for 2008 tax return, I claimed standard deduction plus several hundred dollar property tax. I did not claim mortgage and did not itemize.

    My question: am I qualified for the $8K? Am I currently owning a unit or renting a unit?

  71. I purchased a home in October of 2009, am single, and was hoping to get the fiirst time home buyers credit. However, I took a retirement distribution to purchase the house and now find I’ve made too much money. Could I not take advantage of this program now and hope that I could claim it next year?

  72. @zg – The previous property tax payments might throw up a red flag for the IRS. They may require you to give more information. However, I think you are a true first time buyer and they will ultimately treat it that way. You should call the IRS and/or go sit with a CPA to discuss your situation. They will be able to tell you for sure. Congrats on possibly getting our own place.

    @Rhea – I would call a CPA and look into either one of two things: amend your 2008 return to get the credit applied there, OR waiting to take the credit in 2010. I don’t know for sure if either are possible, but it’s worth looking into.

  73. Trent Shute says:

    My wife and I bought a house with our adult daughter.
    My wife and I are inelibible for the first time home buyer credit as we own a home. We own 50% and our daugher owns 50%
    Our daughter does qualify for the credit.

    I wanted to run a reasonable basis by you. My wife and I bought our 50% share for the sole purpose of investment property. Our daughter’s sole intent was to become a 1st time home buyer. Hence, we would like to allocate 100% to her with the reasonable basis being her intent to buy her first home. Her share of the property was sufficient to qualtify for the full $8000.

    What do you think?

  74. Has anyone been taken by fraud in getting this $8,000
    tax credit? Like doubling the price of property when it was
    posted in paper at a certain price, and lender charges you
    more plus doesn’t give you all the land that went with the
    property. He purchased it for around $50,000 and now
    charging us $100,000 and also not allowing all the land
    that was suppose to be included. Please help, does anyone
    know who I can turn to for help. I am disabled widow and I
    feel I was taken advantage of.

  75. Do we qualify for either first time home buyer or long time resident if…
    My husband inherited a house from his grandfather in 2004. He filled out the paperwork to get his mother’s name off the deed and it be soley his. She signed everything. (We married in 07) In June of 2009 we closed on our first home together. We qualified for a first time home owner loan. We also refinanced the inherited house and found that his mother’s name was still on the deed so we had to fill out paper work again and then we added my name. We were told by the bank we would qualify for the first time home buyer credit but now we are slightly confused!!!

  76. Okay, this one is interesting:

    I closed on November 25, 2009. I sent in the paperwork for the $8,000 credit the very next day. About a month later, I got notice that I was to be audited for the $8,000 and would need provide proof of purchase to include:

    A copy of the completed purchase contract
    A copy of personal identification reflecting my new address
    A copy of the mortgage statement showing payments to my new address
    A copy of my bank statement showing my new address as the mailing address

    Since I had just made my first mortgage payment, I couldn’t send any of that paperwork until the end of January. But when I did (and I faxed it over by the way) I didn’t receive any additional notice until a week ago (mid-march) at which point I was informed that I would finally be receiving the credit by direct deposit on the 19th of March.
    I still haven’t received the money and after double checking the routing and bank account numbers, know that the problem is not on my side.

    So please, just know that some folks like are having a painstaking time getting the credit. Do not rely on the money for any kind of bills nor expect this to be an easy process for everyone.

  77. Jim Haywood says:

    I applied for the $8000.00 taq credit the middle of november 09.
    The first week of Feb 2010 They asked for utility bill driver license with the new address on it. The middle of March the sent a letter rejecting my claim saying public records show me as owner of a home. I called them and was told I had utilities at my old address. Well I did, I rented that place since 2005 utill purchasing the home I now live in. I haven’t owned a home since 1993. I bought new furniture on a credit card with regard to getting this $8000.00 in 10 weeks as I was told. The interest is 25% and costing me between$100.00 and $150.00 per month. My $8000.000 is shrinking very fast waiting for my check. I don’t know if I am going to get it or not. I qualify as much as anybody for this check. These are the same people that will handle our health care.

  78. I purchased my first home last year assuming i would qualify for the $8000. Now i find out as i am having my taxes prepared that i am disqualified because i bought the home from my parents. This is totally unfair!!!! My parents moved and their house sat on the market for almost two years. I took out a mortgage and purchased it at fair market value and i should not be cheated out of the tax credit. I closed on the house in August and then this stipulation was signed in November!!!!! I understand why this was added…people try to cheat the system, but what about people like me who did everything by the book and then they change it on you after you buy the home?!!!! The re must be a way for this to be amended….??? i contacted two of my state senators and haven’t heard anything back from their staff and probably won’t. I don’t know what else i can do.

    • Diamond DaBoots says:

      Hi, Nick.  It takes some time for the senators office  to get back to you.  They have to do the research for being able to respond to you accordingly.  There are so many steps when writing your congressman.  
      It may take a few months.  If you haven’t heard anything in 60 days do a follow up by calling the senators office.

  79. well it has been about 7 weeks and i havent recieved my house credit yet when do you suspect i shall recieve my tax credit im really getting frustrated.

    • Diamond DaBoots says:

      Hi, Moses.  There is a link on the website, that you can check your tax credit status. Try that and see it that helps

  80. Heather, Nick, and PT:
    I read your posts and am wondering a few things.
    Nick:where did you find info about the dates the new stipulations went into effect? I am goint to try to contact my senators and reps (Mass.) as well.

    In April 2009, My sister purchased at fair market value (2 appraisals) my grandmother’s house. The house was actually in a trust (that my mother was in charge of) so she actually purchased from the trust. She has now been told by a tax preparer that she doesn’t qualify.

    PT: My Q is, if she were to file an amended 2008 return, would she still fall under the new stipulations…or those in effect at the tax time April 15, 2009? If people previously didn’t have to supply extra info/didn’t matter if you bought from a relative…would that still work now?

  81. @Lisa – My understanding is that the relative clause has always been in there. The docs required may have changed, but the purpose behind the credit remains the same.

  82. I think we were used at getting this credit, as we didn’t fully understand it. We’ve been taken advantage of and don’t know where to go or what to do about it. Alot of things weren’t told to us until it was to late to stop the signing. We felt we had no choice in signing contract with this man. We’re disable and need help. Please help.

  83. @nick – I can understand your pain! I closed on my first home last Nov. 20th and I bought it in a short sale from my b/f’s parents and we had actually been living there renting the place for 3yrs before I bought it. Myself and my b/f’s parents had to show endless paperwork to prove that I was not buying it to ‘bail them out’ it was a HUGE pain but there defiantly a parent clause that says you will not qualify if you purchase from family, it sucks, thank goodness I lucked out. I sent in my tax return this last Feb. and just recived paperwork from the IRS asking for 2 forms of proof that I actually live there (DL and paystub), just dropped it in the mail this morning – keeping my fingers crossed!

  84. My Daughter bought her home in 2009. I filed her taxes for her using tax act on line, but we had to print the return and mail it. All we included was the signed Hud-1 and she got her $ 8000 dollars in a few weeks.
    Now I am in the process of buying a home, and have a signed contract before the April 30, 2010 deadline. I called H&R Block to see if they will file for me after we close and was told yes for $ 99 , I alreadt did mt 2009 taxes on their online program, so will have to do an amended return. They told me I would need the HUD-1 and a Drivers Licences with the new address, a recent pay statement with new address, a bank statement with new address and a mortgage statement. I can’t find anywhere online where it says you have to have all this proof. Does anyone know about this?

  85. Yes I had to do the same thing… I also had to mail in my taxes this year since I had to send paperwork to prove I bought my house. A few weeks ago I got a letter and forms back from the IRS asking me to send in a copy of my DL and paystubs with my new address on them. I sent them in about 2 weeks ago and have not heard anything back yet (keeping my fingers crossed!). So I think this is pretty standard so you should not worry – I will post again when I actually get the money!!! Good Luck!

  86. I closed on my house on 2/26/2010 and mailed my tax return in mid-March. All I included was a copy of the fully executed HUD form and in less than 6 weeks, I received my refund.

  87. -Lisa- i heard from an accountant who does my taxes…i guess these new rules were added when the extension for new homebuyers was added (not sure exactly when) but i’m pretty sure in november ’09. i havent heard anything back from my senators after leaving messages, but i will continue to again

  88. Thanks to Joanie, Lisa, and Nick.
    It seems like they do want all this , so I will send it all to be safe.

  89. Stephanie says:

    Huh… curious everyone has had such a great experience. I just got a letter TODAY that our credit was DENIED. We are a military couple, husband was injured in Iraq and is being medically retired due to his injuries. As a result, we bought a home (a fixer-upper) so we would have somewhere to live once out of the Army. We have never owned a home before, and certainly don’t make too much money! Yet for some reason we have been denied! We filed in February, and have waited for three months… we were counting on that money to buy appliances and replace doors and locks in the home, now I don’t know what we’ll do! I am so frustrated and so scared… my husband doesn’t deserve a denial after what he’s been through. And I just don’t know where to turn for help.
    But hey, why should an injured Iraqi war vet get the $8,000 he deserves to help provide for his family, he only put his life on the line so everyone else could get it.

    I am so hurt… and feel so discarded right now. I just don’t what I am going to tell him when he walks in the door from work tonight.

  90. Stephanie, I am so sorry they are putting you throught this after all you and your Husband have already been through. Did they give you areason for the denial?
    Try writing or calling your Congressman and Senator. Thank your Husband for his service and hope you get the money soon.

  91. I filed for the 8000 dollar first time home buyers credit back in March. Including my federal and state I was supposed to get back roughly 10000. I checked my account today and I have recieved the 2000 of my state and federal but I havent recieved my 8000 home buyer credit yet. Is the home buyer credit processed seperately?

    • Diamond DaBoots says:

      Hi, Jared. If you go on, there is a link you can click to check on the tax credit.  I was just on there today.  

  92. They usualy process it all at the same time but it seems like they are doing every case a little differant, I don’t think they ever planned on this big of a response.

  93. I’m purchasing a short-sale house. The seller has signed the contract, but I’m waiting for the bank holding the mortgate to approve the sale price.

    Question: For short sales, does the bank holding the mortgage have to approve the sale price by April 30th for me to be eligible for the $8000 tax credit, or is it enough that the buyer (me) and seller have signed a contract before Apr. 30th?

  94. David B, You will have to close by the 30th to be eligible for the credit.

  95. David B., you should be okay because you signed the contract by April 30th. Now you have until June 30th to close.

  96. Hi PT. Any chance, above slim and none, that a MOTOR HOME would be eligible for the credit?

  97. @Joedy – Yep. It’s eligible. Both the motor home and the land you purchase to put it on.

  98. I’ve got the credit but no one finance me a home becouse my credit is less than 500 so I had to wait while waited I spend the money now no money no home and am back to my old job after 1 year …what happens nowwill I pay back I got it in 2009…now my taxes can’t be done is asking for my info of my home

    • Diamond DaBoots says:

      fm, in your case I would call IRS directly and let them advise you of what your nex steps are

  99. Lynelle Howard says:

    I just received a letter from the IRS dated July 29, 2011, disallowing my first-time homebuyers credit, because I closed on my home on April 2, 2008, and apparently, the law was enacted on April 9, 2008, unbeknownst to me. I got the credit on my piddly little home that cost $72,000, have begun to pay it back via my last tax return/tax obligation. Now they apparently want me to pay it back quicker, and it will certainly cause a severe hardship for me to do so. I use TurboTax, and nothing was asked or said about the exact date of the enactment. One week early, and I don’t get the credit. What to do?

    • Diamond DaBoots says:

      Lynelle contact IRS and set up a payment plan.  Send a  letter of hardship, provide what you have already paid.  Sometimes if you show them that you are not trying to avoid the debt, it will simmer them down.  Paying it back only through when you file your tax return, is not what they want to see.  If you tell them you can pay $40-50 a month or every two weeks, sometimes they will take the agreement.
      When I ran into some tax problems some years ago.  That is how I satisfied my debt on a small income as well. I hope this helps.  Don’t get stress, just do what you can. A small payment a month can go a long way, then to have them garnish a part of your wages.

  100. Wow what can I say I filed in March of 2010 for the 8,000 credit on our taxes. August they denied us saying that we only bought land and not a home well there is a house built here on the land I am living in and had been so appealed which starts the process over and well I got the credit in May 2011. Yep it took over a year for them to approve it. It took lots of back and forth of sending then this and that but we got it just took forever. I hope everyone else had a easier time getting it.

  101. Hey guys!
    my husband and I bought a house in 2011, do any of you guys know if this tax still exists?

    • Diamond DaBoots says:

      Amy we missed the deadline, unless you are uniformed service it was extend until April 2011.  I just purchased my home May 2011, not first time tax credits. It was not extend in the Bill.

  102. For Sale By Owner says:

    I appreciate your effort, its an excellent post for first time home buyer. Details you mentioned would help the first time home buyers

  103. The IRS is a pile of dung as far as I’m concerned. My wife owned a home, we got married and six months later purchased another home in the state we were living in. I had never purchased a home. Because I married her the IRS says that I had principle interest in the home and now we owe a $1500 penalty plus interest. The title was still firmly in my wifes name only and I had no real claim to the home, yet three years later the IRS is coming after us saying that I did not qualify! IF THIS IS YOUR SITUATION DO NOT TAKE THE CREDIT THEY WILL F$#% YOU FOR IT!

  104. Geralyn de Levie says:

    Hi I have a question,I’m not a U.S cetizen yet ( green card holder) I purchased my first house last june 2010, but my monthly income from the V.A and SS for survivor benifets and its untaxable. But my monthly payment for the house includes with tax. Is there a possibility I can file for tax refund? I just want to know whats my availability for tax refund.
    Hope you can help me.

    Thank you,

  105. Hello,
    I still have a question now that year is ending and I haven’t complete the 5405 because I haven’t been sure about it…

    If I enter into a contract on April 2010 with a builder to build my first new, and the house was to close on October but we closed on September 30th…am I still qualified?

    I am asking the question because the form 5405 says something about the binding contract on July which is confusing…


  106. i bought a home in december 2008 and moved 2.5 yrs later…now the IRS wants me to pay $1500 in penalties and $950+ in interest plus the $7500 back right away.

    Is this right…how are we suppose to know that in this current job market, I would have to move and not be able to live in the house …..

    • @fthbc

      Yes that is right, it’s one of the main stipulations, you took the gamble, no one knows for sure that they will be able to stay in a house for any amount of time but you willing took the money with that listed as a stipulation so it’s your job to pay it back. Plus, in 2008 the credit has to be paid back over the course of the next 15 years anyways. If you waited until 2009 the credit did not have to be paid back unless you moved before the 3 years was over.

    • @fthbc

      Yes that is right, it’s one of the main stipulations, you took the gamble, no one knows for sure that they will be able to stay in a house for any amount of time but you willing took the money with that listed as a stipulation so it’s your job to pay it back. Plus, in 2008 the credit has to be paid back over the course of the next 15 years anyways. If you waited until 2009 the credit did not have to be paid back unless you moved before the 3 years was over.

    • Diamond DaBoots says:

       @fthbc Hi fthbc, according to what I read, you had to stay in your home at least 3 years

  107. I am a recent home buyer. oct. 2011. i am wondering if there is anything for homebuyers still out there or not? please let me know :)

    • Diamond DaBoots says:

       @SammyJ Sammy we missed out on credits.  I purchased my first home May 2011.  So we must start donating clothes to salvation army, giving donations to organizations that are tax write offs so we can itemize for 2012 tax season :-(


    • @CINDY10 They are doing a 2011 refund but it is only for uniformed members that were on a mission overseas or 50 miles away from their home between 2008 and 2010

  109. stevedenise says:

    We have been through the ringer with this. Approved, then 2 years later disallowed $9400 required ASAP, appealed with nice IRS agents. New letter Disallowance in ERROR by the IRS from the IRS. 2 months later bill for $9500 and threatening to seize property if not paid. Filed HUD papers and all good for now. What is scary and stinks is you can be OKAY then NOWAY? Also, I am so scared even though the IRS agent assured me all was well of getting another denial letter. Agents are generally nice.

  110. stevedenise says:

    Also also, we studied the programs down to the fine print, if you live in an RV you are fine etc. We even have the dates correct but IRS MAIN LOCATION reply “applied prior to legislation passage, PLEASE PROVIDE PROOF OF HUD”. So hud papers cleared that up with local office agent. Why would they say before legislation passage. I am only concerned because the agent did what she could as a phone agent did once before then we were denied again. Each time they change their mind it costs $120 per month in late fees. I will opt out of ANY future tax credit plans. NO WAY. If I could pay the 8 grand back without the BS interest even though we currently owe nothing I think I would because someone can ping your return and it starts all over again.

  111. I bought a house at the beginning of 2011 and closed the deal april 30 2011. Can I still get a housing amendment tax credit for the purchase of my house. do they still have the housing tax credit for 2011

  112. We bought our first home in Sept. of 2009 and we amended our 2008 return and got the full $8000 a short time later in October 2009. It was awesome!

  113. We bought our first home in Sept. of 2009 and we amended our 2008 return and got the full $8000 a short time later in October 2009. It was awesome!

  114. I have to call the IRS tomorrow, my house burned down in July, do i still have to repay it since i bought it in 2008?

  115. Tornadotammy says:

    My boyfriend and I bought a home 24months ago and got the homebuyers credit of $8,000.

    My son needed help so my boyfriend loaned me the money to buy a condo and my son lives in it. My boyfriend made me take my name off the deed but not the mortgage to secure his loan being paid back. I still live with him in the house as our primary residence. I do live there and plan to for the required 36 months but my name is off the title syill on mortgage. I can prove I live there but am worried I may have to pay back 1/2 the credit? do i? Help?

  116. MaryClark says:

    Get a lawyer!!! right away! The IRS is evil and cares NOTHING about you or your family! Trust me!!! Get a tax lawyer.