President Signs Housing Assistance Bill Into Law – New Tax Provisions Enacted

July 30, 2008

The President has signed into law H.R. 3221, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The Tax Title of the bill – The Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008 – contains several tax changes designed to provide tax relief associated with certain real estate transactions. Perhaps of most significance, the bill creates a new tax credit for first-time homebuyers (defined as a person (or spouse) that has had no ownership of a “principal residence” during the three-year period before the day the house was purchased). The credit is available for eligible taxpayers that purchase a home in 2008 and 2009 equivalent to 10 percent of the purchase price of the home. The maximum credit is $7,500 ($3,750 for married persons filing separately).

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