Home Buyer Tax Credit Questions Answered
In a past post I wrote about the first time home buyer credit in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. As part of the IRS’ consumer outreach effort and with the April 15 individual tax filing deadline approaching, the IRS has begun a concerted effort to educate taxpayers about additional options at their disposal to claim the new $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit for 2009 home purchases. For people who recently purchased a home or are considering buying in the next few months, there are several different ways you can get this tax credit even if you have already filed your tax return. In a recent Wall Street Journal, Cracking a Valuable Homebuyer Credit, the service answered some very important questions some of which include:
- Who can claim the credit?
- How much is the credit?
- How do the income limits work?
- What if I built a new home?
- I own more than one home. How do I figure out which is my "main" home? And does it have to be a house?
- Are there any other qualifications?
- Will the credit help if I don’t owe any tax?
- What form do I use?
- Where do I put the credit on my Form 1040?
- I’ve already filed my return for 2008. Can I still claim it? If so, how?
- If I buy this year, should I claim the new credit on my 2008 or 2009 tax return?
For additional information go to IRS website and read a recent article they posted this week. "First Time Homebuyers Have Several Options to Maximize New Tax Credit"
Go Green with Your Home and The Government will give you Green Back
If you are not in the market to buy a new home, there are other credits available to you when improve the energy efficiency of your existing home. President Obama made renewable energy a cornerstone of his fall campaign; and to encourage homeowners in making green decisions, the Treasury has made available some lucrative tax incentives for energy-efficient and renewable-energy home improvements. This may offer some consolation to homeowners who feel they are falling between the cracks with the government’s various economic stimulus efforts. They include up to $1,500 in tax credits for adding qualifying windows, doors, insulation, roofs, heating and cooling equipment, water heaters, and even wood and pellet stoves to your house in 2009 and 2010.
Perks for installing pricier renewable energy like solar technology, small wind-energy systems, or a geothermal well system include a tax credit of 30% of qualifying expenditures with no upper limit through 2016. This tax credit can be taken in conjunction with similar, but less generous, tax credits offered by many states. The benefit of tax credits versus a deduction is the dollar-for-dollar write off you get to claim on the taxes you owe, rather than a deduction which trims money off taxable income. The IRS is expected to issue firm guidelines on details of the credits soon, and you should consult tax professionals for clarity on filing. To find out more read another Wall Street Journal article How Your Home May Qualify for Bailout Cash; Energy-Efficient Upgrades Yield Valuable Tax Credit.
Posted by Clint Coons, asset protection attorney Seattle, Washington