Remember the home buyers tax credit craze of 2008, 2009, 2010? I do and it's time to take a refresher course.
That's right it's time to get back up to speed on the rules. Why? Well, as you may recall there were all kind of rules around getting the $8000 tax credit. We are now approaching the time limits on being able to sell those homes and the owner not having to repay the $8000 tax credit if they use phase II or III.
I am not a tax accountant or tax attorney. If you used one of the various tax credit be sure to consult with your tax accountant or tax attorney so you know exactly how this may/will affect your tax return.
There were three (3) phases of the tax credits that buyers may have used. With the passage of time, I am now starting to get questions about how these rules impact selling these homes.
Phase I was in 2008. The basics were; First-time home buyers who purchased new homes in 2008, subject to certain criteria, were eligible for a maximum credit of $7,500, which must be repaid over a 15-year period. Essentially this was an interest free loan for 15 years. If you sell your home before the repayment is complete you are responsible for repaying the balance in the same year that you close the sale of your home. The theory was that if you lived in the home for several years the value of your home would rise more than enough to cover this tax liability. I must say I was a little skeptical of this at the time it was unfolding. I counseled several first time buyers, back then, about the long term of the loan and the consequence of selling in just a few years.
Phase II was in 2009. The basics were; First-time home buyers who purchased new homes in 2009, subject to certain criteria, were eligible for a maximum credit of $8,000, which does not have to be repaid. There is a restriction on the last part of that sentence, which does not have to be repaid. The buyer must live in the home for residential purposes and not resell for three (3) years. This particular restriction is why I am writing this blog. We are at the beginning of the three (3) year waiting period thus starting the release from the repayment clause. This will continue to unfold throughout the year.
Phase III was also in 2009. The basics were; Long-time residents who purchased homes after November 6, 2009, subject to certain criteria, were eligible for a maximum credit of $6,500, which does not have to be repaid. Again the three (3) year restriction applies regarding reselling a home bought and claiming the $6500 tax credit.
Here is a recap of this repayment requirement for phase 2 & 3: If, within 36 months of the date of purchase, the property is no longer used as your principal residence, you are required to repay the credit. Repayment of the full amount of the credit is due at the time the income tax return for the year the home ceased to be your principal residence is due. The full amount of the credit is reflected as additional tax on that year's tax return. Form 5405 and its instructions will be revised for tax year 2009 to include information about repayment of the credit.
Remember to consult your accountant or tax attorney. I am not either of those thus this is not intended to be tax advise.
Bill Austin ~ Serving the Austin TX Metro and surrounding counties.
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