Tax Tips for Handling Real Estate in Divorce
Case Study: First-Time Buyer Credit & Divorce
In 2008, Chris and Jenny purchased a home that qualified for the $7,500 first-time homebuyer credit.
They were married at the time of purchase and applied for the credit on a joint return.
In 2009, they divorced and Jenny received the house. Chris gave up ownership in 2009 and filed Form 5405 stating that he transferred the house to Jenny incident to the divorce [Form 5405, Line 13(e)].
In 2010, Jenny sold the house at a gain of $9,300.
Who repays the credit and how much?
Since Jenny received the home in the divorce, she has to repay the credit. In this example she must repay the entire $7,500 because her gain from the sale was $9,300.
The $9,300 gain was calculated by reducing the basis of the home by the $7,500 credit. If the gain had been less than the $7,500 her repayment would be limited to the amount of the gain.
If she sold it for a loss then none of the credit would have to be repaid.
According to the instructions to Form 5405, Line 13(e), the spouse who owns the residence after the divorce is responsible for the repayment, if any, of the entire first-time homebuyer credit.
Jenny will file the Form 5405 in 2010 and fill out Parts III and IV to repay the credit.
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