Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stimulus Bill and $15,000 Homebuyers' Tax Credit

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 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:

  • 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.