Springfield, IL – February 16, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S military personnel and certain other federal employees serving overseas must act quickly if they plan to take advantage of the federal tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,500 for long-time homeowners that expires on April 30, 2011. Members of the U.S. military, foreign serviceand intelligence communities were given an extra year to claim the tax credit, which expired in 2010 for all other homebuyers.“The tax credit has been a great incentive for new and repeat homebuyers and U.S. service members have but a short window to claim it before it is gone. At a time when affordable home prices have never been better, U.S. service members can get even more homebuying power with a sizable tax credit that they don’t have to pay back,” said REALTOR® Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, ABR,CRB,GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and the Development and Operations Coordinator for Traders Realty in Peoria.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, details of the tax credit include:
– Who qualifies? Members of the uniformed services, members of the Foreign Service and employees of the intelligence community who served on qualified official extended duty service outside the U.S. for at least 90 days during the period beginning after Dec. 31, 2008 and ending before May 1, 2010.
– First-time buyers receive up to 10 percent of the cost of the home up to a maximum credit of $8,000 (or $4,000 for a married individual filing separately). Long-time homeowners receive 10 percent of the purchase price up to $6,500 (or $3,250 for a married individual filing separately).
– Eligible homebuyers must enter into a binding contract to buy a principal residence on or before April 30, 2011. The taxpayer has until June 30, 2011 to close on the purchase.
– Eligible properties include single-family homes (including condos, co-ops and townhouses) that will be used as the taxpayer’s primary residence. Vacation homes and homes with a purchase price exceeding $800,000 do not qualify for the tax credit.
– Only one spouse must be overseas on official extended duty for the requisite amount of time for either spouse to be eligible for the 2011 extension of time to purchase a principal residence and claim the credit.
Consult with your REALTOR® or visit www.YourIllinoisHome.com, a consumer site developed by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® for more details. For specific questions or further assistance, contact a tax professional or the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-1040.