Housing Assistance: An Inventory of Fiscal Year 2010 Programs, Tax Expenditures, and Other Activities

U.S. Government Accountability Office

First-time homebuyer tax credit

Administering Agency/Entity Internal Revenue Service
Short Description Allowed taxpayers to claim a credit when purchasing a home, subject to varying rules. The maximum value of the credit ranged from $6,500 to $8,000. The 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act version of the credit was equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to $7,500, and it had to be repaid over 15 years. The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act version increased the maximum credit to $8,000 and made the credit subject to repayment only if the home was sold or ceased to be a primary residence within 3 years. The 2009 Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act included several modifications such as allowing certain long-term homeowners purchasing new homes to claim a credit up to $6,500. Taxpayers with higher incomes were subject to limitations on their use of the credit. This provision expired April 30, 2010.
Primary Purpose Emergency assistance to housing market or current homeowner
Type of Housing Supported Homeownership
Type of Assistance Tax credit
Estimated Revenue Loss1 $13,680,000,000; revenue losses were estimated by Treasury for fiscal year 2010. This provision expired April 30, 2010.

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