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 Treasury Department Touts Expanded Tax Credit for First-Time Homebuyers


 

February 25, 2009
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Credit Offers Up to $8,000 to Qualifying Taxpayers Now

Latest Move in Swift Implementation
of Administration's Recovery, Stability, Affordability Plans

Washington, DC – In an ongoing effort to deliver on swift implementation of the Obama Administration's recovery, stability and affordability plans, the U.S. Department of the Treasury touted today the availability of an expanded tax break for first-time homebuyers – a provision under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that will make up to $8,000 available now to qualifying taxpayers who buy homes this year. 

First-time home buyers represent a significant portion of existing single-family home sales.  In 2008, nearly one out of every two homebuyers were buying for the first time, and the expansion in the first-time homebuyer credit will make it easier for first-time home buyers to enter the housing market this year.   

"The expansion of the first-time home buyer tax break as part of the President's recovery agenda gives money to taxpayers when they need it most, while also targeting an important group of buyers," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. "We view our economic recovery plan, our financial stability plan and now this homeowner affordability plan as three legs of the same stool – an integrated whole that represents our immediate response to the current crisis. We remain committed to swift, efficient and effective implementation of all of these components." 

The announcement comes on the heels of the first Recovery Plan Implementation meeting led by Vice President Joe Biden at the White House this morning; Secretary Geithner was among several Cabinet secretaries to attend and offer updates on implementation efforts in progress at Treasury and its bureaus. Vice President Biden is overseeing the Administration's implementation of the Recovery Act's provisions. 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has posted on IRS.gov a revised version of Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit to incorporate provisions from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Under the new law, qualifying taxpayers who buy a home this year before December 1 can claim up to $8,000, or $4,000 for married individuals filing separately, on either their 2008 or 2009 tax returns.  U nlike the prior first-time homebuyer credit, this is money individuals do not need to pay back.  

To view the form and additional information on who can and cannot claim the credit, income limitations and repayment of the credit, please visit IRS.gov.  

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