Federal Homebuyer Credit in 2011: Available Only to Certain Military, Other U.S. Employees Stationed Overseas
For most Americans, the federal homebuyer credit expired in 2010.
However, the credit is still available on 2011 home purchases for certain members of the armed forces, foreign services or intelligence community. They must have been on extended duty outside the United States for at least 90 days between January 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010.
If you qualify, you can claim the credit using either the TurboTax Online or TurboTax CD/download product. But you will need to mail, rather than e-file, your return and attach certain documentation.
To learn more, please read below.
For information on the credit that was available from 2008 through 2010, please see the IRS article First-Time Homebuyer Credit.
For information on repaying the 2008 credit or repaying the credit from 2009 and 2010.
Which service members can qualify for the 2011 credit?
Any person (and, if married, the person's spouse) who served on qualified, official extended duty service outside of the United States for at least 90 days between January 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010. Those who could qualify include:
- Uniformed Services Member. This includes:
- Armed forces (the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps
- Public Health Service Corps
- Foreign Service Member. This includes:
- A chief of mission
- An Ambassador at large
- A member of the Senior Foreign Service
- A Foreign Service officer
- Part of the Foreign Service personnel
- Intelligence Community. This includes:
- The Office of the Director of National Intelligence- The Central Intelligence Agency
- The National Security Agency
- The Defense Intelligence Agency
- The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
- The National Reconnaissance Office and any other office within the Department of Defense for the collection of specialized national intelligence through reconnaissance
- The Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the Department of State
- Any of the elements of the Department of Homeland Security concerned with the analysis of foreign intelligence information
- Any of the intelligence elements of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Energy, and the Coast Guard.
What are the purchase deadlines?
Eligible taxpayers had to enter into a binding contract to buy a principal residence on or before April 30, 2011, and close on the purchase on or before June 30, 2011.
Special rules for service members regarding credit repayment
Taxpayers who qualified for the 2008-2010 homebuyer credit are required to repay some or all of it if the home is no longer their primary residence.
IMPORTANT: In many cases, however, the credit repayment requirement is waived for members of the uniformed services, members of the Foreign Service and employees of the intelligence community.
This relief applies when a home is sold or stops being the taxpayer’s principal residence after December 31, 2008, because the taxpayer (or the taxpayer's spouse) receives government orders for qualified official extended duty service. The credit is allowed even if this happens during the year of purchase.
Qualified official extended duty is any period of extended duty while serving at a place of duty at least 50 miles away from the taxpayer’s principal residence (whether inside or outside the United States) or while living under government orders in government quarters. Extended duty is defined as at least 90 days or for an indefinite period.