Tax Administration: Usage and Selected Analyses of the First-Time Homebuyer Credit

GAO-10-1025R Published: Sep 02, 2010. Publicly Released: Sep 02, 2010.
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As an important part of the economic stimulus efforts, Congress enacted the First- Time Homebuyer Credit (FTHBC) to assist the struggling real estate market and encourage taxpayers to purchase their first homes. Congress enacted different versions of the FTHBC--as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (Housing Act); the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act); and the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 (Assistance Act). The dollar amounts that can be claimed and rules associated with the credit, including potential repayment, vary depending on the version. Joint Committee on Taxation estimates suggest that the three FTHBC provisions combined may result in total revenue losses to the federal government of about $22 billion through 2019. In response to the request for updated information on the use of the FTHBC, our objectives were to identify (1) the number of FTHBC claims and dollar amounts claimed for each credit version by state and (2) state rankings, using selected statistics, such as the total dollar amount of FTHBC claimed in each state.

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