Home Buyer Tax Credit Deadline Looming, Though Not for Military Personnel

April 26, 2010

Are you buying a piece of suburban or Chicago real estate? If so, I certainly hope you will have locked in your contract by April 30 in order to take advantage of the Federal Home Buyer’s Tax Credit.

Of course, if you are a member of the military, foreign service or intelligence community, you have a whole extra year to get it done.

To receive the tax credit of 10 percent of the home’s purchase price — that’s up to $6,500 for existing home owners or $8,000 for first-time buyers — you must have a binding sales contract in place by April 30 to qualify. The home purchase must then be completed by June 30.

Under the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act, which was signed into law by Congress in November, qualified service members performing extended duty outside the country for at least 90 days can still be eligible for the tax credit with a contract in place by April 30, 2011 and by closing on the home by June 30, 2011. This tax credit extension applies to service member’s spouses as well, even if that spouse is not overseas.

Military personnel placed on mandatory, permanent transfer might also qualify for assistance if they are forced to sell their homes for less than what they owe on the mortgage, and the rule that requires buyers to repay the credit if they move out of their home within three years has also been waived for qualified service members if they have to sell their homes for extended duty.

For the rest of us, the deadline for the Federal Home Buyer’s Tax Credit is Friday. Get to it.

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