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What Are the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit 2012 Rules?

Written By

Paul Picone

Enrolled Agent, Paul Picone and Associates, Inc.

Briefly Speaking

According to the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit 2012 rules, the First-Time Homebuyers Credit is available only to qualified extended duty service taxpayers.
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According to the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit 2012 rules, to qualify for the First-Time Homebuyers Credit on your 2011 tax return you must be a qualified extended duty service taxpayer who purchased a home as a principle residence after November 6, 2009 and before July 1, 2011 (with a written and binding contract signed before May 1, 2011).

A qualified extended duty service taxpayer is an individual who is in service on official extended duty as a member of the uniformed services, a member of the Foreign Service of the United States, or an employee of the intelligence community. Qualified official extended duty is any period of extended duty while serving at a place of duty at least 50 miles away from the taxpayer's principal residence or under orders compelling residence in government furnished quarters.  Extended duty is any period of duty pursuant to a call or order to such duty for a period in excess of 90 days or for an indefinite period.  This applies to individuals who served on qualified official extended duty outside of the United States for at least 90 days after Dec. 31, 2008, and before May 1, 2010.

For first time homebuyer, the credit is the smaller of 10% of the purchase price or $8000 ($4000 for a married individual filing separately).   The taxpayer must be at least 18 years of age at the time of the purchase and not claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.  The taxpayer must not have owned a principle residence in the United States during the three-year period prior to the purchase of the home.

Long-time homeowners who buy a replacement principal residence may also claim a homebuyer credit of up to $6,500 (up to $3,250 for a married individual filing separately).  They must have lived in the same principal residence for any five-consecutive year period during the eight-year period that ended on the date the replacement home is purchased.

The credit is phased out when modified adjusted gross income is between $125,000 and $145,000 ($225,000 and $245,000 for married filing jointly).

According to the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit 2012 rules, to claim the first-time homebuyer credit, all eligible homebuyers must fill out Form 5405 and include with their return supporting documentation, such as a copy of the settlement statement showing all parties' names and signatures.   Because submission of documents is required to claim the credit, he returns may not be electronically filed.

The credit repayment (recapture) requirement is waived for members of the uniformed services, members of the Foreign Service and employees of the intelligence community.  This relief applies where a home is sold or stops being the taxpayer’s principal residence after Dec. 31, 2008, in connection with government orders received by the individual (or the individual’s spouse) for qualified official extended duty service.

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