Did you know that now both first time homebuyers AND existing homeowners purchasing a home may be eligible for a tax credit?
On November 5th 2009, Congress passed and the President signed into law an act extending the First Time Homebuyers $8,000 tax credit until April 30, 2010 as well as adding a $6,500 tax credit for current homeowners purchasing a home.
Tax Credit vs. Tax Deduction - What’s the difference and which is better?
Generally speaking – a tax credit is worth much more than a tax deduction.
A tax deduction effectively saves you the taxes you would have paid on the income had there been no deduction. A tax credit is actually applied toward your tax liability. The difference can be illustrated by this example*.
Couple One has a combined income of $68,000. They are able to deduct $8000 in tax deductible items for a net taxable income of $60,000. Their tax bracket is 20%. Thus, their tax liability is $12,000 (20% x 60,000). Without the deduction their taxable income would have been $68,000 and the tax liability would have been $13,600 (20% x $68,000). The savings equals $1,600 ($13,600 - $12,000) – the difference in tax dollars owed.
Couple Two has a combined income of $68,000. They are able to use an $8,000 tax credit. Their tax bracket is 20%. Their gross tax liability is $13,200 (20% x $68,000) – but they are able to apply the tax credit directly to the tax owed – so their actual tax liability is $5,200 ($13,200 – $8000). Their tax savings is the total $8,000 -- $6,400 more than Couple One.
Quick Reference - Some of the Provisions Include:
First Time Homebuyers' Tax Credit
* $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers defined as not having had an interest in a principal residence for three years prior to the purchase.
* Extended to April 30, 2010 – the contract must be a written binding contract by that date and the purchaser will have until July 1, 2010 to actually close.
* Income limits are increased to $125,000 for single filers and $225,000 for married filers. The credit phases out incrementally with each $20,000 increase in income.
* Maximum home purchase cannot exceed $800,000 and is an absolute ceiling – no incremental use when exceeding the $800,000.
Current Homeowner Tax Credit
* $6,500 to an owner who must have owned and used the same residence as a principal residence for any consecutive five-year period in the previous eight years.
* Personal income limits, maximum home value and contract / closing dates are the same as for the First Time Homebuyer.
Additional Provisions and Conditions Apply
There are more provisions and conditions in the law that apply.
Contact us and learn more about the tax credit program and how we can help you find a home that is right for you !
*This example is completely hypothetical. The income numbers, deductions and tax brackets are fabricated and have no correlation with one another. All numbers are inserted and rounded for ease of illustration and none of the example should be relied upon in any way for tax planning purposes. Many conditions apply to the homebuyers tax credits which will affect how much you can claim, if any at all. You are strongly advised to consult your tax or financial advisor to find out how either of the homebuyers tax credits would affect you.