So … Has the Tax Credit Closing Deadline Been Extended? Maybe.

If only passing a bill into law was this simple …

Update #3 24 June 2010: Still no progress on the bill. It’s still stalled. Our representatives will try again … “after the July 4 recess.” Well, gosh, that’s helpful, seeing as how the tax credit deadline expires June 30. Meaning, if they do pass it, it’ll be retroactive? Surely that won’t lead to any fraudulent activity.

Update #2 18 June 2010: The bill is stalled in the Senate. Shocking. Bolding mine.

We are exploring a number of options of separating out provisions but there are lots of complicated moving parts and our (ed: Realtors) provisions are only a couple out of hundreds now wrapped up in this bill.   Bottom line – earliest any of the above gets resolved would be early next week, but mid-to-late next week is far more likely as things would have to go back to the House, be signed by the President, etc….

“Hundreds of provisions.” Our government is shameful in its inefficiency and incompetence. Try KISS.

Dan Green has valuable insight.

Update #1 18 June 2010: The extension is projected to cost $140 million over 10 years.

Addition of Extension of Closing Date for Homebuyer Tax Credit. As part of the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009, the homebuyer tax credit was expanded and extended to allow homebuyers to receive a tax credit for the purchase of a qualifying home through April 30, 2010. Homebuyers can benefit from the tax credit up to July 1, 2010 if they entered into a binding contract by April 30, 2010 and close on the home within 60 days. This provision extends the closing date for homebuyers who entered into a binding contract by April 30, 2010, allowing them to be eligible for the tax credit if they close on the home before October 1, 2010. The provision is estimated to cost $140 million over 10 years.

As of this writing, there are 180 Amendments to H.R. 4213.

I’m reading this morning that the amendment was approved:

The Senate has amended a bill to give homebuyers who were under contract on a home purchase by April 30 an additional three months to close the deal and claim the federal homebuyer tax credit.

Extending the deadline for closing from June 30 to Sept. 30 would allow lenders more time to clear a backlog of 180,000 homebuyers nationwide, said amendment sponsor Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The amendment to HR 4213, the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010” — which primarily extends unemployment insurance benefits — was approved in a 60-37 vote Wednesday. The vote was mostly along party lines, with only four Republicans in favor and one Democrat opposed.

But that was being read and construed by some as it’s actually passing. “Closing Tax Loopholes” – bwahaha.

Notsomuch. I read this on the OpenCongress site – Dems Lose Big on Unemployment Insurance/Tax Extenders Vote

After two weeks of solid debate — and two weeks of people having their unemployment insurance cut off because of congressional inaction — the Senate this morning took their first test vote on passing H.R. 4213, the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010.” They failed miserably. The final vote count was 45-52. Sixty votes were needed to proceed.

Succinctly, the Amendment was approved. The bill might not be.

So … rather than trust the headlines, I asked my Representative’s office to help me understand. I still do not fully understand the process … (and I think that’s part of the intent of Congress) … how does the Senate get to amend a House bill? …

His response is –

Good morning! Thanks for reaching out to our office. I handle various tax and financial services issues for Congressman Perriello and wanted to try to answer your question to the best of my abilities. Please let me know if I’m not clear at any point. My apologies but Senate procedure can sometimes get confusing!

As you know, Senator Reid has been supporting an amendment to H.R. 4213 that would extend the deadline for closing for the homebuyer tax credit from June 30 to September 30. We know how backlogged you all (Realtors) are with the rush of people who signed a contract in the late hours of April 30th to qualify for the tax credit. Congressman Perriello has signed onto a letter of members of the House of Representatives in support of Senator Reid’s amendment. I don’t have a PDF copy of the actual letter yet, but if you’d like I’ll be sure to get you a copy when I have it. The letter was finalized late last night and the signatures are still being collected.

Senator Reid was successful in adding his amendment to H.R. 4213 yesterday by a vote of 60 – 37. But also yesterday, earlier in the day before Senator Reid’s amendment, the Senate voted against a motion that would move closer to ending debate on the bill and passing it. Several Senators still had concerns about the overall size of the package. This morning I am reading that the Senate has come to some sort of agreement last night that will scale back the overall size of the package and ensure passage. Senator Reid’s amendment concerning the deadline for closing will still be in the bill.

I expect the Senate to pass the package sometime later this week. Because of the amendments included in the Senate, the bill will have to come back to the House for approval before going to the President. The House should be able to pass it next week or the week after that before the original June 30th deadline. But everything seems to be aligning for the closing date to be extended.

As I said, maybe.

I’m curious why Senator Warner didn’t vote on this amendment; Senator Webb voted “yea” (which I assume is also “yes”)

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