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New tax filing rules for people who claim home-buyer credit

If you're planning to claim a home-buyer tax credit on your 2009 tax return, you'd better sharpen your pencil. The IRS says you must file a paper return, and cannot file electronically.

In an attempt to crack down on some of the fraud involving first-time home-buyer tax credit claims filed so far, the new law that extended the credit until next spring imposed a couple of new limits. For example, dependents cannot claim the credit. Anyone younger than 18 on the date of the home purchase cannot claim it unless they make the purchase with an older co-buyer.

Members of the military -- and federal employees working for the Foreign Service and intelligence agencies -- on duty outside the United States have been given an extra year to buy a home with the tax credit. They can qualify if they go under contract by April 30, 2011, and close the deal by June 30, 2011. Others, however, must wrap their deals up in 2010.

For more explanations, including some what-if scenarios, check out the IRS Web site.

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  November 25, 2009; 1:15 PM ET
Categories:  Buying , Taxes  
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