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GEORGIA REAL ESTATE TAX CREDIT FOR HOME BUYERS

By
Real Estate Agent with Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate

Looking to buy a home in Georgia in the next 6 months?   If you're a resident of the state or will be filing as a resident this year, you may qualify for up to $1,800 in additional tax credits spread out over the next three years!

Governor Purdue signed H.B. 261 on May 11, 2009, providing additional stimulus to the state's housing market.   His goal in signing this legislation includes putting people to work, reducing the inventory of unsold homes, and kick starting the state's economy.  "The housing tax credit is a strategic investment that strikes at the root of this economic downturn...Families interested in buying a home will now have an additional incentive to act," stated the Governor.

To qualify for the credit, the home needed to be listed for sale on or before May 11, 2009 and is still for sale after May 11, 2009 -- or the home was in the process of foreclosure proceedings as of March 1, 2009, or is owned by a mortgage company or REO (real estate owned) company or agent.

The $1,800 tax credit is available to first-time homebuyers (who are also eligible for a federal tax credit up to $8,000), as well as repeat homeowners.  Therefore, if you are under contract to buy a home in Georgia -- irregardless of whether it is your first home or your third home -- and will close on this home on or after June 1, and the home you're buying was listed for sale on or before May 11 (or in foreclosure as of March 1), you may qualify for the state tax credit.

The amount of the credit will be the lesser of $1,800 or 1.2 percent pf the purchase price.  If you purchase a home at $100,000, you qualify for $1,200, rather than the full $1,800.  A Georgia taxpayer will claim one-third of the credit available in each taxable year, and may carry forward unclaimed amounts.

The real estate tax credit expires on November 30, 2009 -- same as the federal tax credit -- so homeowners must close on a home prior to the deadline to qualify. 

When filing for the tax credit, homeowners will need to provide proof that the home met the criteria of being in foreclosure or was listed for sale on or before May 11.

For more information on the Housing Tax Credit Bill, please refer to GA House Bill 261, and always consult your financial advisor or accountant to verify that you qualify.