The U.S. Senate yesterday unanimously passed an amendment to the pending economic stimulus package allowing an income tax credit of up to $15,000 for the purchase of a home. The amendment was advanced by former real estate broker Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Ct.) The amendment would allow a tax credit of 10 percent of the value of new or existing residences, up to a $15,000 limit. Current law provides for a $7,500 tax credit for the purchase of new homes only, which must be repaid over 15 years or when the house is sold, if there is sufficient capital gain from the sale. Sen. Isakson's office estimated his proposal would cost the government $19 billion.
The text of the amendment (Amendment No. 106 to Amendment No. 98) is as follows:
On page 449, beginning on line 16, strike through page 450,
line 22, and insert the following:
SEC. 1006. CREDIT FOR CERTAIN HOME PURCHASES.
(a) Allowance of Credit.-Subpart A of part IV of
subchapter A of chapter 1 is amended by inserting after
section 25D the following new section:
"SEC. 25E. CREDIT FOR CERTAIN HOME PURCHASES.
"(a) Allowance of Credit.-
"(1) In general.-In the case of an individual who is a
purchaser of a principal residence during the taxable year,
there shall be allowed as a credit against the tax imposed by
this chapter an amount equal to 10 percent of the purchase
price of the residence.
"(2) Dollar limitation.-The amount of the credit allowed
under paragraph (1) shall not exceed $15,000.
"(3) Allocation of credit amount.-At the election of the
taxpayer, the amount of the credit allowed under paragraph
(1) (after application of paragraph (2)) may be equally
divided among the 2 taxable years beginning with the taxable
year in which the purchase of the principal residence is
"(1) Date of purchase.-The credit allowed under
subsection (a) shall be allowed only with respect to
"(A) after the date of the enactment of the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009, and
"(B) on or before the date that is 1 year after such date
"(2) Limitation based on amount of tax.-In the case of a
taxable year to which section 26(a)(2) does not apply, the
credit allowed under subsection (a) for any taxable year
shall not exceed the excess of-
"(A) the sum of the regular tax liability (as defined in
section 26(b)) plus the tax imposed by section 55, over
"(B) the sum of the credits allowable under this subpart
(other than this section) for the taxable year.
"(3) One-time only.-
"(A) In general.-If a credit is allowed under this
section in the case of any individual (and such individual's
spouse, if married) with respect to the purchase of any
principal residence, no credit shall be allowed under this
section in any taxable year with respect to the purchase of
any other principal residence by such individual or a spouse
of such individual.
"(B) Joint purchase.-In the case of a purchase of a
principal residence by 2 or more unmarried individuals or by
2 married individuals filing separately, no credit shall be
allowed under this section if a credit under this section has
been allowed to any of such individuals in any taxable year
with respect to the purchase of any other principal
"(c) Principal Residence.-For purposes of this section,
the term `principal residence' has the same meaning as when
used in section 121.
"(d) Denial of Double Benefit.-No credit shall be allowed
under this section for any purchase for which a credit is
allowed under section 36 or section 1400C.
"(e) Special Rules.-
"(1) Joint purchase.-
"(A) Married individuals filing separately.-In the case
of 2 married individuals filing separately, subsection (a)
shall be applied to each such individual by substituting
`$7,500′ for `$15,000′ in subsection (a)(1).
"(B) Unmarried individuals.-If 2 or more individuals who
are not married purchase a principal residence, the amount of
the credit allowed under subsection (a) shall be allocated
among such individuals in such manner as the Secretary may
prescribe, except that the total amount of the credits
allowed to all such individuals shall not exceed $15,000.
"(2) Purchase.-In defining the purchase of a principal
residence, rules similar to the rules of paragraphs (2) and
(3) of section 1400C(e) (as in effect on the date of the
enactment of this section) shall apply.
"(3) Reporting requirement.-Rules similar to the rules of
section 1400C(f) (as so in effect) shall apply.
"(f) Recapture of Credit in the Case of Certain
"(1) In general.-In the event that a taxpayer-
"(A) disposes of the principal residence with respect to
which a credit was allowed under subsection (a), or
"(B) fails to occupy such residence as the taxpayer's
at any time within 24 months after the date on which the
taxpayer purchased such residence, then the tax imposed by
this chapter for the taxable year during which such
disposition occurred or in which the taxpayer failed to
occupy the residence as a principal residence shall be
increased by the amount of such credit.
"(A) Death of taxpayer.-Paragraph (1) shall not apply to
any taxable year ending after the date of the taxpayer's
"(B) Involuntary conversion.-Paragraph (1) shall not
apply in the case of a residence which is compulsorily or
involuntarily converted (within the meaning of section
1033(a)) if the taxpayer acquires a new principal residence
within the 2-year period beginning on the date of the
disposition or cessation referred to in such paragraph.
Paragraph (1) shall apply to such new principal residence
during the remainder of the 24-month period described in such
paragraph as if such new principal residence were the
"(C) Transfers between spouses or incident to divorce.-In
the case of a transfer of a residence to which section
"(i) paragraph (1) shall not apply to such transfer, and
"(ii) in the case of taxable years ending after such
transfer, paragraph (1) shall apply to the transferee in the
same manner as if
such transferee were the transferor (and shall not apply to
"(D) Relocation of members of the armed forces.-Paragraph
(1) shall not apply in the case of a member of the Armed
Forces of the United States on active duty who moves pursuant
to a military order and incident to a permanent change of
"(3) Joint returns.-In the case of a credit allowed under
subsection (a) with respect to a joint return, half of such
credit shall be treated as having been allowed to each
individual filing such return for purposes of this
"(4) Return requirement.-If the tax imposed by this
chapter for the taxable year is increased under this
subsection, the taxpayer shall, notwithstanding section 6012,
be required to file a return with respect to the taxes
imposed under this subtitle.
"(g) Basis Adjustment.-For purposes of this subtitle, if
a credit is allowed under this section with respect to the
purchase of any residence, the basis of such residence shall
be reduced by the amount of the credit so allowed.
"(h) Election to Treat Purchase in Prior Year.-In the
case of a purchase of a principal residence during the period
described in subsection (b)(1), a taxpayer may elect to treat
such purchase as made on December 31, 2008, for purposes of
(b) Clerical Amendment.-The table of sections for subpart
A of part IV of subchapter A of chapter 1 is amended by
inserting after the item relating to section 25D the
following new item:
"Sec. 25E. Credit for certain home purchases.''.
(c) Sunset of Current First-Time Homebuyer Credit.-
(1) In general.-Subsection (h) of section 36 is amended by
striking "July 1, 2009′' and inserting "the date of the
enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act
(2) Election to treat purchase in prior year.-Subsection
(g) of section 36 is amended by striking "July 1, 2009′' and
inserting "the date of the enactment of the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009′'.
(d) Effective Date.-The amendments made by this section
shall apply to purchases after the date of the enactment of