$8,000 Home Buyer Tax Deadline Expires Today: You Need A “Binding Contract”

by Rich Vetstein on April 30, 2010 · 0 comments

in Offer To Purchase, Purchase and Sale Agreements, Tax Credit

Today is the deadline for buyers to have a “binding contract” for the $8,000 Home Buyer Tax Credit.

  • Under the IRS guidelines, Buyers must have a “binding contract” on or before April 30, 2010, and close on or before June 30, 2010. Buyers will need to attach to their 1040 tax returns a copy of the signed contract and the HUD-1 Settlement Statement for the closing.
  • Is a signed offer to purchase or signed purchase and sale agreement sufficient for the April 30 deadline? There’s been quite a bit of debate on this issue in Massachusetts and the rest of the country with a 2-step contract process. Unfortunately, there’s been no formal IRS guidance. There is case law that the standard form Greater Boston Real Estate Board Offer to Purchase is a binding agreement. But all offers are different, and some may have special contingencies (see, short sales), which may take it out of this case law rule. Buyers can eliminate the risk of having their credit disallowed by getting a purchase and sale agreement signed by today. You can always defer the home inspection until next week and make it a contingency in the purchase and sale agreement.
  • If buyers cannot sign a purchase and sale agreement by today and intend to submit a signed offer for the tax credit know that the IRS rules require the names of all parties on the “binding contract.” Make sure the names of the sellers and buyers are legible on the offer. Realtors, who customarily fill out the offer to purchase, typically address offers to the “owner of record.” Realtors: make sure you spell out the names of both buyers and sellers, get all the signatures, spell out the closing date for on or before June 30, 2010, and write legibly so the IRS can read it.
  • For all tax credit qualification issues, consult a tax attorney or CPA, and contact us to get your purchase and sale agreement done by Friday.

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