I read recently that the number of homes which sold utilizing the $8000 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit was about 314,000. There was no detail as to how this number was determined.
One would assume that the only proof that the credit was applied for is if the IRS received the request form for a credit vs. the taxpayers 2008 tax return.
Some buyers may have chosen to apply for the credit vs. their 2009 tax retrun for economic reasons ( may earn less in 2009 and therefore qualify for more credit). Some may have put off the decision until they know which year to apply it toward. Some may just not have done the paperwork yet and plan to do so for their 2008 return.
All in all, the figure which has been thrown out there may be an educated guess more than a factual reporting.
For those who have not yet purchased a home , time is running out. The closing MUST take place by Nov 30, 2009.
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