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2010 Tax Credit for New Home / First-Time Buyer

(If you are looking for more information regarding the 2009 New Home Credit, see FTB Publication 3528, New Home Credit, or search using the “Forms & Publications” tab above.)

Important Update (09/08/11):

  • $100 million for First-Time Buyers has been allocated
  • FTB is no longer accepting New Home Credit Applications

FTB stopped accepting First-Time Buyer applications as of midnight Sunday, August 15, 2010. As of March 24, 2011 we finished allocating the $100 million allotted to the First-Time Buyer Credit. (Updated 03/24/11)

FTB stopped accepting New Home applications as of midnight Sunday, August 14, 2011. All applications have been processed. Although the $100 million for New Home Credit was not fully allocated, the credit was only available for buyers who closed escrow on or before July 31, 2011 and sent applications within 14 days after escrow closed. In addition, new homes closing escrow in 2011 were only eligible for the New Home Credit if the home was purchased pursuant to an enforceable contract executed on or before December 31, 2010. (Updated 09/08/11)

Fax delays

Due to the high volume of faxes we are receiving, you may experience some delays or difficulties in connecting to our fax number during normal business hours. It can take several minutes or possibly up to an hour to connect and transmit the fax. If you receive a busy signal, try again later. Check your fax confirmation to make sure all pages were transmitted successfully and keep a copy of the fax confirmation. Our fax number is open 24 hours a day so you may fax your application to us during non-business hours when the line is not so busy.

Applying for the 2010 New Home/First-Time Buyer tax credits: Applications must be faxed after escrow closes. We will deny the application if the 2009 form is used, we receive the 2010 application before May 1, 2010, or we receive the application before escrow closes.

The New Home / First-Time Buyer Credits are available only for purchases that close escrow on or after May 1, 2010.

Check this page often. We will add updates as they become available.

General Information: These tax credits are available for taxpayers who purchase a qualified principal residence on or after May 1, 2010, and before January 1, 2011. Additionally, these tax credits are available for taxpayers who purchase a qualified principal residence on or after December 31, 2010, and before August 1, 2011, pursuant to an enforceable contract executed on or before December 31, 2010. The purchase date is defined as the date escrow closes. Taxpayers may apply for the tax credits if they have entered into a contract before May 1, 2010, as long as escrow closes on or after May 1, 2010. However, taxpayers may not request a New Home Credit reservation if they have entered into the contract before May 1, 2010.

These tax credits are limited to the lesser of 5 percent of the purchase price or $10,000 for a qualified principal residence. Taxpayers must apply the total tax credit in equal amounts over 3 successive tax years (maximum of $3,333 per year) beginning with the tax year in which the home is purchased. The tax credits cannot reduce regular tax below tentative minimum tax (TMT). The tax credits are nonrefundable, and unused credits cannot be carried over.

The total amount of allocated tax credit for all taxpayers may not exceed $100 million for the New Home Credit and $100 million for the First-Time Buyer Credit. However, since many taxpayers will not be able to utilize the entire tax credit, the legislation specifies that the $100 million cap for the New Home Credit will be reduced by 70 percent of the tax credit allocated to each buyer and the $100 million cap for the First-Time Buyer Credit will be reduced by 57 percent of the tax credit allocated to each buyer. For example, if a taxpayer is allocated $10,000 for the New Home Credit, the $100 million cap for the New Home Credit will only be reduced by $7,000. If a taxpayer is allocated $10,000 for the First-Time Buyer Credit, the $100 million cap for the First-Time Buyer Credit will only be reduced by $5,700. The 70 and 57 percent reductions do not impact the amount that can be claimed by the taxpayer.

We will allocate the tax credits on a first-come, first-served basis. In most cases it takes 3-6 months to notify taxpayers after an application or reservation is received. We began notifying the first taxpayers August 16, 2010. Please be patient and do not fax an application more than once.

Only one tax credit is allowed per taxpayer. If a taxpayer qualifies for both tax credits, the law specifies that we will allocate the amount under the New Home Credit.

Taxpayers will not be eligible for either tax credit if any of the following apply:

  • The taxpayer was allowed a 2009 New Home Credit.
  • The taxpayer is under 18 years old. (A taxpayer who is married as of the date of purchase will be considered to be 18 if the spouse/registered domestic partner (RDP) of the taxpayer is 18 or older on the date of purchase.)
  • The taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse/RDP is related to the seller.
  • The taxpayer qualifies as a dependent of any other taxpayer for the tax year of the purchase.

New Home Credit: A qualified principal residence, for purposes of the New Home Credit, must:

  • Be a single family residence, either detached or attached. This can be a single family residence, a condominium, a unit in a cooperative project, a house boat, a manufactured home, or a mobile home. A home constructed by the taxpayer is not eligible since the home has not been "purchased."
  • Have never been occupied. Sellers must certify that the home has never been occupied in order for a taxpayer to receive an allocation of the credit.
  • Be eligible for the California property tax homeowner’s exemption.
  • Be occupied by the taxpayer as their principal residence for a minimum of 2 years immediately following the purchase.

Tax credit allocation:

  • A Certificate of Allocation will not be issued if:
    • The seller does not certify the home has never been occupied.
    • We do not receive the application and a copy of the properly executed settlement statement within 2 weeks (14 calendar days) after the close of escrow, regardless of whether a reservation request was submitted.
    • We receive the application or reservation request after the total tax credits available have been allocated.
  • FTB's determination may not be protested or appealed.

Reserving a New Home Credit Before Escrow Closes: Taxpayers who qualify for the New Home Credit may, but are not required to, request a reservation prior to the close of escrow. Reservations will become important as we near the $100 million cap for homes that may not close escrow before the cap is reached, as a reservation will "hold the taxpayer's place in line" until 2 weeks after escrow closes. Taxpayers may only request a reservation if they have entered into an enforceable contract on or after May 1, 2010, and on or before December 31, 2010. Taxpayers may not reserve a credit if the contract was entered into before May 1, 2010 or after December 31, 2010. Taxpayers who only qualify for the First-Time Buyer Credit may not request a reservation.

Requesting or receiving a reservation does not guarantee the credit. An application must still be completed and faxed to FTB along with the final settlement statement within two weeks after the close of escrow. If a buyer requests a reservation and the purchase is cancelled, the buyer must notify FTB.

First-Time Buyer Credit: A qualified principal residence, for purposes of the First-Time Buyer Credit, must:

  • Be a single family residence, either detached or attached. This can be a single family residence, a condominium, a unit in a cooperative project, a house boat, a manufactured home, or a mobile home. A home constructed by the taxpayer is not eligible since the home has not been "purchased."
  • Be eligible for the California property tax homeowner’s exemption.
  • Be occupied by the taxpayer as their principal residence for a minimum of 2 years immediately following the purchase.

A first-time buyer is any individual (and the individual’s spouse/RDP, if married on the date of purchase) who did not have an ownership interest in a principal residence, either in or out of California, during the preceding 3 year period ending on the date of the purchase of the qualified principal residence. If the buyer is married on the date of purchase and either the buyer or the buyer's spouse/RDP had an ownership interest in a principal residence during the preceding 3 year period, the buyer does not qualify for the First-Time Buyer Credit even if the spouse/RDP is not going to be on title.

Tax credit allocation:

  • A Certificate of Allocation will not be issued if:
    • We do not receive the application and a copy of the properly executed settlement statement within 2 weeks (14 calendar days) after the close of escrow.
    • We receive the application after August 15, 2010.
  • FTB's determination may not be protested or appealed.

Estimated applications received for First-Time Buyer Credit as of 08/15/10

The figures shown below are only estimates, based on small samples before the applications were verified. The numbers are overstated as there are many duplicate, revised, and invalid applications included. These estimates are only provided to give a general idea of the number of applications received and the amount requested for the First-Time Buyer Credit. We are showing 57% of the estimated requested credit since the $100 million cap will only be reduced by 57% of the credit allocated to the buyer. The amounts do not reflect actual amounts which will be allocated.

As of Estimated Total First-Time Buyer Applications Received 57% of Estimated Requested Credit
05/04/10 430 $2,351,000
05/11/10 2,470 $13,283,000
05/18/10 4,830 $25,473,000
05/25/10 7,330 $38,357,000
06/01/10 9,760 $50,948,000
06/08/10 12,740 $65,787,000
06/15/10 15,220 $78,108,000
06/22/10 17,860 $91,404,000
06/29/10 20,760 $105,898,000
07/06/10 23,680  
07/13/10 26,260  
07/20/10 27,960  
07/27/10 29,500  
08/03/10 31,200  
08/10/10 32,890  
08/15/10 35,100  

Certificates issued for First-Time Buyer Credit through 03/24/11:

California allocated $100 million for the First-Time Buyer Credit. However, the $100 million cap is only reduced by 57% of the credit allocated to buyers since many taxpayers will not have enough tax liability to utilize their entire credit. We began issuing certificates of allocation on August 16, 2010. The credit was allocated on a first-come first-served basis. As of March 24, 2011 the credit has been fully allocated. (Updated 03/24/11)

As of Cumulative
Certificates
Issued
57% of
Cumulative
Allocated Credit
Remaining
Credit Available
      $100,000,000
08/17/10 192 $1,071,317 $98,928,683
08/24/10 580 $3,227,811 $96,772,189
08/31/10 953 $5,286,581 $94,713,419
09/07/10 1,284 $7,096,755 $92,903,245
09/14/10 1,867 $10,252,018 $89,747,982
09/21/10 2,494 $13,630,487 $86,369,513
09/28/10 2,969 $16,158,628 $83,841,372
10/05/10 3,421 $18,589,739 $81,410,261
10/12/10 4,104 $22,253,475 $77,746,525
10/19/10 4,704 $25,512,134 $74,487,866
10/26/10 5,524 $29,904,500 $70,095,500
11/02/10 6,243 $33,793,294 $66,206,706
11/09/10 6,836 $37,016,646 $62,983,354
11/16/10 7,541 $40,784,474 $59,215,526
11/23/10 8,446 $45,660,157 $54,339,843
11/30/10 8,929 $48,220,183 $51,779,817
12/07/10 9,809 $52,953,672 $47,046,328
12/14/10 10,614 $57,250,834 $42,749,166
12/21/10 11,402 $61,474,341 $38,525,659
12/28/10 12,439 $67,021,467 $32,978,533
01/04/11 13,553 $72,960,096 $27,039,904
01/11/11 14,002 $75,332,327 $24,667,673
01/18/11 14,806 $79,622,248 $20,377,752
01/25/11 15,447 $82,975,466 $17,024,534
02/01/11 16,150 $86,662,218 $13,337,782
02/08/11 16,807 $90,039,436 $9,960,564
02/15/11 17,394 $93,142,640 $6,857,360
02/22/11 17,609 $94,277,797 $5,722,203
03/01/11 17,956 $96,112,751 $3,887,249
03/08/11 18,290 $97,928,119 $2,071,881
03/15/11 18,509 $99,088,401 $911,599
03/24/11 18,679 $100,000,000 $0

Estimated applications and reservation requests received for New Home Credit as of 08/15/11:

The figures shown below are only estimates, based on small samples before the applications were verified. The numbers are overstated as there are duplicate, revised, and invalid applications included. In addition, some purchases may be included twice if we have received both a reservation request and an application for the purchase. These estimates are only provided to give a general idea of the number of applications and reservation requests received and the combined amount requested for the New Home Credit. We are showing 70% of the estimated requested credit since the $100 million cap will only be reduced by 70% of the credit allocated to the buyer. The amounts do not reflect actual amounts which will be allocated. These estimates will be updated each Thursday until we are sure that we have received more than enough applications to allocate the full $100 million. Once we determine that we have received sufficient applications and reservation requests to allocate the full $100 million, we will stop accepting reservation requests and applications for the New Home Credit.

As of Estimated Reservation
Requests Received
Estimated
Applications Received
Estimated Total
Reservation Requests
and Applications Received
70% of Estimated
Total Requested Credit
06/15/10 1,930 3,700 5,630 $36,360,000
06/22/10 2,250 4,180 6,430 $41,683,000
06/29/10 2,600 5,150 7,750 $50,136,000
07/06/10 2,850 5,950 8,800 $57,191,000
07/13/10 3,180 6,450 9,630 $62,614,000
07/20/10 3,430 6,740 10,170 $66,120,000
07/27/10 3,720 7,090 10,810 $70,384,000
08/03/10 3,910 7,530 11,440 $74,432,000
08/10/10 4,270 7,820 12,090 $78,694,000
08/17/10 4,610 8,260 12,870 $83,895,000
08/24/10 4,850 8,590 13,440 $87,590,000
08/31/10 5,180 9,190 14,370 $93,766,000
09/07/10 5,430 9,580 15,010 $97,991,000
09/14/10 5,800 9,940 15,740 $102,594,000
09/21/10 6,000 10,250 16,250  
09/28/10 6,180 10,530 16,710  
10/05/10 6,280 11,090 17,370  
10/12/10 6,430 11,510 17,940  
10/19/10 6,580 11,830 18,410  
10/26/10 6,730 12,170 18,900  
11/02/10 6,920 12,790 19,710  
11/09/10 7,060 13,290 20,350  
11/16/10 7,270 13,700 20,970  
11/23/10 7,480 14,100 21,580  
11/30/10 7,630 14,500 22,130  
12/07/10 7,790 15,030 22,820  
12/14/10 7,920 15,440 23,360  
12/21/10 8,110 15,820 23,930  
12/28/10 8,240 16,230 24,470  
01/04/11 8,340 16,820 25,160  
01/11/11 8,410 17,160 25,570  
01/18/11 8,460 17,350 25,810  
01/25/11 8,500 17,650 26,150  
02/01/11 8,520 17,990 26,510  
02/08/11 8,580 18,260 26,840  
02/15/11 8,680 18,400 27,080  
02/22/11 8,780 18,680 27,460  
03/01/11 8,890 18,990 27,880  
03/08/11 9,050 19,270 28,320  
03/15/11 9,170 19,490 28,660  
03/22/11 9,270 19,700 28,970  
03/29/11 9,340 19,950 29,290  
04/05/11 9,400 20,090 29,490  
04/12/11 9,450 20,340 29,790
04/19/11 9,570 20,520 30,090
04/26/11 9,620 20,730 30,350
05/03/11 9,710 20,910 30,620
05/10/11 9,770 21,120 30,890
05/17/11 9,860 21,250 31,110
05/24/11 9,890 21,390 31,280
05/31/11 9,930 21,490 31,420
06/07/11 9,950 21,590 31,540
06/14/11 9,960 21,710 31,670
06/21/11 9,970 21,770 31,740
06/28/11 9,970 21,830 31,800
07/05/11 9,970 21,880 31,850
07/12/11 9,970 21,930 31,900
07/19/11 9,970 21,980 31,950
07/26/11 9,970 22,020 31,990
08/02/11 9,970 22,040 32,010
08/09/11 9,970 22,070 32,040
08/15/11 9,970 22,100 32,070

Certificates and Reservations issued for New Home Credit through 09/08/11:

California allocated $100 million for the New Home Credit. However, the $100 million cap is only reduced by 70% of the credit allocated to buyers since many taxpayers will not have enough tax liability to utilize their entire credit. We began issuing certificates of allocation and reservation letters on August 16, 2010. We will review applications and allocate credit on a first-come first-served basis. Once $100 million has been allocated, any remaining applications will be denied. We will update this information each Thursday.

As of Cumulative
Reservations &
Certificates
Issued
70% of
Cumulative
Allocated Credit
Remaining
Credit
Available
      $100,000,000
08/17/10 147 $1,017,250 $98,982,750
08/24/10 270 $1,870,680 $98,129,320
08/31/10 402 $2,782,819 $97,217,182
09/07/10 513 $3,554,895 $96,445,105
09/14/10 687 $4,758,372 $95,241,628
09/21/10 879 $6,082,445 $93,917,555
09/28/10 1,010 $6,987,742 $93,012,258
10/05/10 1,133 $7,836,317 $92,163,683
10/12/10 1,352 $9,354,345 $90,645,655
10/19/10 1,550 $10,711,087 $89,288,913
10/26/10 1,857 $12,823,168 $87,176,832
11/02/10 2,144 $14,820,122 $85,179,878
11/09/10 2,424 $16,755,455 $83,244,545
11/16/10 2,632 $18,172,802 $81,827,198
11/23/10 2,907 $20,068,872 $79,931,128
11/30/10 3,047 $21,036,118 $78,963,882
12/07/10 3,310 $22,858,188 $77,141,812
12/14/10 3,523 $24,326,890 $75,673,110
12/21/10 3,764 $25,996,933 $74,003,068
12/28/10 4,166 $28,764,961 $71,235,039
01/04/11 4,670 $32,227,108 $67,772,893
01/11/11 5,100 $35,154,494 $64,845,507
01/18/11 5,623 $38,761,151 $61,238,849
01/25/11 6,161 $42,437,396 $57,562,604
02/01/11 6,783 $46,712,730 $53,287,270
02/08/11 7,439 $51,195,819 $48,804,181
02/15/11 8,017 $55,170,870 $44,829,130
02/22/11 8,620 $59,312,490 $40,687,510
03/01/11 9,446 $64,998,113 $35,001,887
03/08/11 10,235 $70,398,668 $29,601,332
03/15/11 10,627 $73,086,392 $26,913,608
03/22/11 11,124 $76,502,922 $23,497,078
03/29/11 11,443 $78,697,648 $21,302,352
04/05/11 11,669 $80,240,411 $19,759,589
04/12/11 11,981 $82,393,574 $17,606,426
04/19/11 12,381 $85,152,029 $14,847,971
04/26/11 12,657 $87,061,608 $12,938,392
05/03/11 13,050 $89,770,132 $10,229,868
05/10/11 13,378 $92,044,519 $7,955,481
05/17/11 13,570 $93,370,222 $6,629,778
05/24/11 13,645 $93,884,774 $6,115,226
05/31/11 13,723 $94,415,654 $5,584,346
06/07/11 13,778 $94,800,501 $5,199,499
06/14/11 13,834 $95,171,793 $4,828,207
06/21/11 13,844 $95,243,071 $4,756,929
06/28/11 13,847 $95,262,539 $4,737,461
07/05/11 13,823 $95,099,654 $4,900,346
07/12/11 13,794 $94,896,757 $5,103,243
07/19/11 13,771 $94,740,568 $5,259,432
07/26/11 13,780 $94,800,246 $5,199,754
08/02/11 13,760 $94,662,378 $5,337,622
08/09/11 13,731 $94,462,946 $5,537,054
08/16/11 13,720 $94,388,952 $5,611,048
08/23/11 13,718 $94,375,153 $5,624,847
09/08/11 13,715 $94,355,274 $5,644,726

How to apply

Applications: We will accept applications by fax only beginning May 1, 2010. Do not use the 2009 application. Applications received before May 1, 2010, or before escrow closes will be denied. We are currently only accepting applications for the New Home Credit. Any applications received after August 15, 2010 for the First-Time Buyer Credit will be denied. (Updated 08/19/10)

  • Within two weeks (14 calendar days) after the close of escrow:
    • The seller must complete Parts II, III, and also Part IV (if the home has never been occupied) of Form 3549-A, Application for New Home / First-Time Buyer Credit, and provide a copy to the buyer or escrow person.
    • The buyer will complete Parts I, V & VI of Form 3549-A.
    • Fax the completed Form 3549-A and the final settlement statement (generally the buyer's HUD-1 statement) to FTB at 916.855.5577. It is best that the escrow company, on behalf of the buyer, fax the completed application and settlement statement to FTB and provide a copy to the buyer. (The buyer retains ultimate responsibility to ensure the completed application and settlement statement are submitted timely to the FTB.)
  • Fax is the only delivery method that will be accepted and considered for credit allocation by FTB, as the date and time stamp on the fax will determine the order in which credits are allocated. Check the fax confirmation to make sure you sent it to the correct fax number. The date and time applications are received may not be reviewed in any administrative or judicial proceeding.
  • Fax only one completed application per residence with all qualified buyers listed. Do not include information on nonqualified buyers. An incomplete application may delay or prevent credit allocation.
  • Do not fax the application to FTB before escrow closes.
  • Do not fax the application to FTB more than once. We will process the applications in the order received as quickly as possible.
  • Only send one application per fax transmission. Including more than one application in the fax transmission will cause delay and may even cause an application to be skipped.
  • The buyer keeps a copy of the completed Form 3549-A for their records.
  • Please use the online fillable Form 3549-A. Simply fill in all required information, print the form, and sign. If you fill out any portion of the form by hand, please print as clearly and neatly as possible using CAPITAL LETTERS and stay between the lines as the faxes can be very hard to read.

Reservation Requests: We will accept reservation requests for the New Home Credit by fax only beginning May 1, 2010. If you are applying for the First-Time Buyer Credit, you will not be able to request a reservation before escrow closes. Reservation requests received before May 1, 2010, or after escrow closes will be denied.

  • If a buyer wishes to request a reservation, before the close of escrow:
    • The seller must complete Parts I, II, & III of Form 3549-RR, Reservation Request for New Home Credit.
    • The buyer completes Parts IV & V.
    • Fax the completed Form 3549-RR and the required pages of the purchase agreement to FTB at 916.855.5577. If escrow has opened, it is best for the escrow person, on behalf of the buyer and seller, to fax the completed Form 3549-RR and the required pages of the purchase agreement to FTB and provide a copy to the buyer. If escrow has not opened, the buyer may fax it to FTB. (The buyer retains ultimate responsibility to ensure the completed reservation request and the required pages of the purchase agreement are submitted timely to the FTB.)
    • Do not fax the entire purchase agreement. Only fax the pages which show:
      • Property address
      • Buyer's name
      • Seller's name
      • Purchase price
      • Deposit amount
      • Buyer's signature
      • Seller's signature
  • Fax is the only delivery method that will be accepted and considered for credit reservation by FTB, as the date and time stamp on the fax will determine the order in which credits are reserved. Check the fax confirmation to make sure you sent it to the correct fax number. The date and time reservation requests are received may not be reviewed in any administrative or judicial proceeding.
  • Fax only one completed reservation request per residence with all qualified buyers listed. Do not include information on nonqualified buyers. An incomplete request may delay or prevent the reservation.
  • Do not fax the reservation request if the contract was entered into before May 1, 2010.
  • Do not fax the reservation request to FTB after escrow closes or with the application (Form 3549-A).
  • Do not fax the reservation request to FTB more than once. We will process the requests in the order received as quickly as possible.
  • Only send one reservation request per fax transmission. Including more than one request in the fax transmission will cause delay and may even cause a request to be skipped.
  • The buyer keeps a copy of the completed Form 3549-RR for their records.
  • Please use the online fillable Form 3549-RR. Simply fill in all required information, print the form, and sign. If you fill out any portion of the form by hand, please print as clearly and neatly as possible using CAPITAL LETTERS and stay between the lines as the faxes can be very hard to read.

Claiming the tax credit:

  • The taxpayer must receive a Certificate of Allocation from us to claim the tax credit on their California personal income tax return. The Certificate of Allocation will state the maximum amount the taxpayer can claim listed by tax year.
  • The taxpayer should refer to Pub. 3549, New Home / First-Time Buyer Credit for instructions on claiming the tax credit.
  • Special rules apply to married/RDP taxpayers filing separately, in which case each spouse/RDP is entitled to one-half of the tax credit, even if their ownership percentages are not equal. For 2 or more taxpayers who are not married/RDP, the tax credit amount will have already been allocated to each taxpayer occupying the residence on their respective tax credit allocation letter.
  • If the available tax credit exceeds the current year net tax, the unused tax credit may not be carried over to the following tax year.
  • The tax credit may not reduce regular tax below TMT.
  • The tax credit is not refundable.
  • Any disallowance of the tax credit may not be protested or appealed.

More Information

Contact Us:

  • 888.792.4900 (press 1)
  • 916.845.4900 (not toll-free)

Email: wscs.gen@ftb.ca.gov

This is not a secure email address. Please do not send confidential information.

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