True to tax code standards, the 10-field form is accompanied by 3 pages of instructions.
Form 5405 is a helpful, go-to resource for home buyers with questions about the tax credit.
For example, the form distinguishes tax consequences for homes bought in 2008 versus 2009, and clearly defines the term "first-time home buyer".
In addition, Form 5405 highlights the math behind the tax credit. In general, the First-Time Homebuyer Credit is equal to the lesser of:
- $8,000 for homes bought in 2009
- 10 percent of the home's purchase price
Married couples filing separately are entitled to half of the expected credit, and homes sold within 3 years are subject to a credit repayment in the year the home ceases to be the "main home".
Form 5405 is a comprehensive reference. However, be sure to check with your accountant for specific questions about your personal returns and how the First-Time Homebuyer Credit may impact your finances. There is no substitute for professional, paid advice.