Taxpayers that are eligible for the first-time homebuyer credit have more flexibility in claiming the credit. If those taxpayers purchase a home this year before December 1, they can claim the tax credit on their 2008 return or their 2009 returns.
The first-time homebuyer credit can be worth up to $8,000, or $4,000 for married people filing separately. Homebuyers can claim 10% of the purchase price of the home, up to these caps.
Taxpayers will not be required to repay the credit, provided they remain in the home for at least 36 months after the purchase date. To qualify for the credit, you must be a first-time homebuyer, which means that you have not owned any other main home during the three-year period ending on the date of purchase.
“For first-time homebuyers this year, this special feature can put money in their pockets right now rather than waiting another year to claim the tax credit,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “This important change gives qualifying homebuyers cash they do not have to pay back.”