Last Chance to Apply for State’s First-Time Buyer Tax Credit

Sacramento – The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) announced today that it will stop accepting applications for the First-Time Buyer Credit at midnight Sunday, August 15, 2010.

As of August 4, FTB has received 31,460 applications. Because some of the applications are invalid or duplicates, FTB will continue to accept them through August 15, to ensure that enough valid applications are received to properly allocate the full $100 million of tax credit. FTB estimates that it can award approximately 17,500-20,000 credit certificates to unique and valid applicants. However, once the funds are exhausted, any remaining applications will be denied.

The State is providing $100 million in tax credits to first-time home buyers. The credit will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis using the date and time stamp on the fax submission, until the money is exhausted. The tax credit is available to those who purchased a qualified principal residence and did not own one during the last three years. This credit is five percent of the purchase price or $10,000, whichever is less. Taxpayers must claim the credit on their tax return in equal amounts over the following three tax years.

To apply, the buyer must complete and fax an FTB Form 3549-A, Application for New Home / First-Time Buyer Credit, along with the final settlement statement. It must be faxed to FTB within two weeks (14 calendar days) after the close of escrow. The fax number is 916.855.5577.

Taxpayers must receive a certificate of allocation from FTB to claim the tax credit on their California personal income tax return. FTB expects to send the allocation certificates over the next few months starting in August.

California homebuyers still have time to qualify for the state’s other $100 million home tax credit for the purchase of a new home. The New Home Credit is available for taxpayers who purchase (close escrow) a new home on or after May 1, 2010, and before August 1, 2011, as long as they enter into an enforceable contract executed before January 1, 2011. The seller must certify that the home has never been previously occupied.

For more information, go to and select or search for Tax Credits for New Home Purchase / First-Time Buyer.