Extension and expansion of the homebuyer tax credit


first-time-home-buyer-tax-credit1

The Senate voted on Wednesday to extend the home buyer tax credit through April 30, 2010.

The National Association of Realtors had been pushing hard to extend the credit, as well as include non-first-time home buyers, saying the legislation has helped stabilize the housing market and increased home sales, projected at 5.1 million for the year.

Supporters of the tax credit say that it has helped to boost existing home sales in recent months and that the housing market, and broader economy, would suffer if it is allowed to expire. They contend that extending the credit would help further support sales, stabilize housing prices and generate jobs in the face of an expected increase in foreclosures next year, which is expected to put ongoing downward pressure on prices.

“Tax credits like this only work by creating the sense of urgency to take advantage of them,” Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), the measure’s main sponsor, said in a statement. “This is the last extension of the home buyer tax credit, and I urge all Americans whether they’re first-time buyers who’ve always dreamed of having a home of their own or someone who’s been gridlocked in the failure of our move-up market to take advantage of this opportunity.”

  • The program is being expanded to include a $6,500 credit to buyers who “move up” or “trade-in” their home for a better one, as long as they have lived in their current property for at least five years.
  • The credit will not cover second homes.
  • It is limited to homes purchased for less than $800,000.
  • The credit will be extended to a larger pool of buyers by raising income caps to $125,000 for single filers and $250,000 for joint filers, up from $75,000 and $150,000, respectively.
  • Provisions strengthening the authority of the IRS to oversee the processing of credits have also been included in light of reports of rising fraudulent claims. A HUD-1 settlement statement will now be required when claiming credits.

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~ by ameanderingmuse on November 5, 2009.

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