Making a 1040X 2009 filing to your previous tax return may entitle you to the $8,000 first time home buyer credit even if you did not qualify for the initial period. After the collapse of the real estate market in 2007 and 2008, the federal government intervened and provided an $8,000 tax credit to first time home buyers that purchased their homes between December 31, 2008 and December 1, 2009.
Later this first time home buyer credit was extended by way of The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 through April 30, 2010. This means that if your home purchase did not go through until after December 1, 2009 you can still file for and receive your $8,000 credit.
Many people sought to take advantage of this incentive, but due to the more hesitant lending by the banks and other mortgage lenders a number of the sales did not go through until after the December 1, 2009 deadline was over. The new extension means that the even people whose home purchase did not go through until after the previous deadline can still apply for, and receive their tax credit.
Assuming the first time home buyer filed their tax return for 2009 already, a 1040X filing will be needed to receive this tax credit, but unlike some minor refunds and the like, $8,000 is a significant amount for most people and well worth taking the trouble.
To qualify as a first time home buyer, the purchaser can not have owned a primary residence for three years prior to the 2009 home purchase, though this does not include owning vacation homes of rental properties. Bear in mind that when dealing with married couples filing jointly this restriction applies to both the filer and the spouse, neither of whom can have owned a primary residence for three years prior to the 2009 purchase.
The official purchase date is considered to be the date of the closing, when the property title was transferred to the new home owner. The tax credit is available to those that purchase either new homes or resold ones.
Assuming you have already filed your 2009 tax return, you have two options available to receive the tax credit. Either you can file a 1040X 2009 amended return to get credit within the next few months or you can hold off until the 2010 filing and request the credit at that time.
The proper course to take is determined by individual circumstances, so there is no “correct” path to take in determining what is most appropriate for you. Bear in mind that a 1040X 2009 filing is likely to bring your entire tax situation under closer scrutiny by the IRS, so if there are questionable claims made on your return, it is probably better not to raise the issue.
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