Our broker, The Phoenix Real Estate Guy DOT com, bless his little internet savvy heart, posted last Wednesday night about the stimulus bill wending it's way through Congress, and the $15,000 homebuyer's tax credit provision that's in there and likely to stay in there.
Traffic to his blog spiked through the roof. Calls and emails flooded in from all over, everybody asking questions like "is is passed yet?" and "do I qualify?" and "How do I get my money?"
There aren't a lot of answers yet, because it's still in Congress and not law yet. But our intrepid broker Jay Thompson over at ThePhoenixRealEstateGuy.com covered a lot of it.
If you think you'd flunk your high school freshman year government class if forced to re-take it, read my bullet points below before venturing over to Jay's site. Political junkies and habitual news-watchers, skip on over to The Phoenix Real Estate Guy's posts on the stim bill - the first post, and the second post.
Here's some more basics on the $15,000 Homebuyers' Tax Credit and what we know to date:
- Nobody qualifies for it yet, because it's not law yet.
- President Obama says he wants a ready-to-sign bill on his desk by February 16.
- The Senate passed an $838 billion version of a stimulus package about 20 minutes ago, per NewYorkTimes.com.
- The House passed their version - different from the Senate's version - last week.
- Now the two versions must be compared and reconciled by a Conference Committee made up of members of each party from both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
- The Huffington Post has posted the official PDF of the bill on their servers. Senate Stimulus Bill, Full Text. Or try the Wall Street Journal's servers for the PDF of the Senate bill.
- A WSJ reporter I know (Nick Timiraos) blogs pretty regularly and posted about the Senate stimulus bill and the $15,000 tax credit just yesterday.
- It's not cash. Nobody's going to be handing out $15,000 in cash. It's a tax credit. Meaning you have to wait until you file your taxes for the year, and then claim that as a deduction/credit on your taxes.
- The $15,000 is probably going to be a maximum you can claim. This depends on the wording of the final bill that the President signs. I've heard language that says "10% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of $15,000" is what the Senate passed.
- The tax credit is probably pretty likely to be retroactive for some period of weeks or months. This is just my opinion, based on recent past practice when Congress passes financial bailout legislation.