Asked Too Late

Today TaxMama hears from Thomas in Ohio with this question. “I have been married four years.
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My wife owned her own home before our marriage and we lived there for the last four years. I was never on that title. Now we purchased a home together to live in and have kept her previous home for a rental. Am I eligible for a first time homebuyer credit?”

Hi Thomas,

What you’ve done makes good financial sense.

Unfortunately, it won’t get you the First-Time Homebuyer Credit.
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I wish you had spoken to a tax professional before buying this home. If you had bought it with only you on title, you would have qualified.
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But with both of you on title, you lose the credit.

If either of you owned a personal residence, you’re both disqualified. Unfortunately. This is something I’ve discussed at length with IRS.,,id=186831,00.html
Taxpayers who owned a main home at any time during the three years prior to the date of purchase are not eligible for the credit. This means that first-time homebuyers and those who have not owned a home in the three years prior to a purchase can qualify for the credit.

So sorry to be the one to give you this information.

That’s why I emphasize the importance of consulting with a good tax professional before making major financial moves.
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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

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