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(Smart Money) — Back in 2008, when the housing market was in even deeper trouble than it is in now, Congress passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act to help move a glut of homes off the market. One of the key provisions was a tax credit for first-time homebuyers. That provision would be extended (twice) – and getting in early would have been a mistake.  If you claimed a federal income tax credit for a 2008 home purchase, you’ll probably have to pay it back over 15 years, starting with your 2010 Form 1040 (due next April). In contrast, if you claimed a credit for a 2009 or 2010 purchase, you probably won’t have to pay it back. (Blame Congress’s patchwork legislating.)
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