Bought a Home

Today TaxMama hears from Suzanne in Arizona who is puzzled. “I purchased a home in Jan. 2008. Why am I not eligible for the first time homebuyer credit?”

Dear Suzanne,

Don’t you wish the Legislature would use sensible dates when they pass tax laws? Dates real people can remember – like January 1st, or even the first of any month?

Of course, they don’t do that! Generally, the effective date of most tax laws is the date the legislation is passed.

The reason you are not eligible for the first-time homebuyers credit is because it became effective on April 8, 2008. So buying the house in January last year left you out in the cold. Sorry.

But the good news is, anyone buying a home now – until the end of June 2009, can use the credit on their 2008 tax return. So folks, if you’re doing some buying, don’t file until you close escrow.

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about the first time homebuyer credit and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com

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