[Update 1: Includes IRS clarification] President Barack Obama this morning signed HR 5623, the “Homebuyers Assistance and Improvement Act of 2010,” a three-month extension on the closing deadline for first-time home buyers to receive the tax credit. Potential homeowners with offers currently under contract now have until September 30 to close the deal, instead of the original June 30 deadline. The tax credit remains at a maximum $8,000. The Senate approved the bill late Wednesday evening, a day after it passed the House of Representatives. A copy of the HR 5623 can be downloaded here. The bill is worded to retroactively include properties that closed in the last two days. According to the Internal Revenue Service, besides providing a tax benefit to first-time homebuyers and purchasers who haven’t owned homes in recent years, the law also allows a long-time resident of the same main home to claim the credit if they purchase a new principal residence. To qualify, eligible taxpayers must show that they lived in their old homes for a five-consecutive-year period during the eight-year period ending on the purchase date of the new home. Write to Jacob Gaffney.

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