Home is where the tax relief is
Here are two tax tips for first-time homebuyers and property owners.
First-time homebuyers. If you buy a home between April 9, 2008, and July 1, 2009, you can receive a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $7,500. If you're married and earning more than $150,000—or single and earning $75,000—the credit starts to decrease. There's a catch to this tax break, though. You must repay it over 15 years, beginning two years after the purchase. However, the cost of the total repayment cannot exceed the gain from the sale of the home, so you're protected if your value drops and you sell.
Property owners. For 2008 and 2009, you can take a deduction for the real estate taxes you pay even if you don't itemize. The deduction is worth up to $1,000 if filing a joint return or $500 if filing as a single person.Gary Glassman, CPA, is a partner with Burzenski and Co. in East Haven, Conn., and a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member.