Friday, October 30, 2009

Senate Plans to Extend and Expand Real Estate Homebuyer Tax Credit

The Senate has reached a compromise on extending and expanding the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, a boost the housing industry believes will help it pull out of its two-year-old downturn. While its passage remains uncertain, the agreement would extend the existing credit for first-time home buyers, worth up to $8,000, while offering a new credit of up to $6,500 for some existing homeowners, Senate aides said. The reduced credit would be available to all home buyers who have been in their current residence for a consecutive five-year period in the past eight years. Lawmakers in Washington also raised the qualifying income limits to $125,000 for single taxpayers and $250,000 for joint taxpayers, from the current $75,000 and $150,000, housing-industry sources said. Under the Senate compromise, buyers must have sales agreements in hand by April 30, but they will have until June 30 to go to settlement, said the sources. The measure still faces votes in the full Senate and the House.

The Extended and Expanded Tax Credit will contain the following provisions:

Amount: $8,000
Eligibility: ALL HOME BUYERS (Step-up buyers will have to have lived in their current home for SEVEN* years to be eligible)

Income Limits: $125,000 for single filers/$250,000 for joint

Time Frame: December 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010 plus 60 Day extension if binding contract is in place by April 30, 2010

*The 7 year ownership requirement is designed to lower the "score" or cost of the tax credit. This is still open to change. The Congressional Budget Office is going to "score" the cost of 3 year and 5 year requirements. We are continuing to push for step-up buyers to be required to be in their current home for three year period.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan are in full support of the Senate’s proposal to both extend and expand the first-time home buyer tax credit and called on Congress to approve key housing measures that include the tax credit. “We welcome efforts taken by Congress to extend the First-Time Home buyer Tax Credit for a limited period. This credit has brought new families into the housing market and contributed to three consecutive months of rising home prices nationwide,” said Secretaries Geithner and Donovan. “In extending the credit, we urge Congress to include strict measures to combat tax fraud and protect responsible homeowners.”

Read more: http://rismedia.com/2009-10-29/breaking-news-senate-plans-to-extend-and-expand-tax-credit/#ixzz0VQeh3JaS