A first-time home buyer account can be set up by anyone planning to purchase a home in Oregon. Individuals have 10 years from when the account is opened to purchase a home. The first-time home buyer account must be opened between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2026. In addition, the person can't have owned or purchased a residence in the three years prior to the date of their planned purchase.
Do I have to purchase a home in Oregon?
Yes. If you don't purchase a home in Oregon, you don't qualify for the subtraction and you will be required to add back any amounts you subtracted on previous tax returns. You may also be subject to a penalty on funds withdrawn for a non-qualifying purpose.
Do I have to be an Oregon resident to qualify?
Yes. You must be a resident of Oregon.
How much is the subtraction if I qualify?
The maximum subtraction allowed is $5,000 per year ($10,000 if you file a joint return and both you and your spouse have a My First Home – Savings Account, or you are both owners of a joint account). You may not subtract more than $50,000 in all tax years. Income limitations do apply. If your income is more than $104,000 ($149,000 for joint filers), the amount of the subtraction is reduced. Please see Publication OR-17 for details.
What income can I subtract?
You can subtract both your contributions to the My First Home – Savings Account and earnings from that account (interest and dividends) up to the annual limitations. However, if your earnings and contributions exceed the annual limitations allowed, you must report the excess earnings on your Oregon return.
What if my account balance goes over $50,000? Are there tax penalties, or does interest just stop accruing?
While there are no limitations of how much money you can deposit in a My First Home – Savings Account, $50,000 is the max limit for a tax benefit. There are no penalties if you exceed $50,000. If your account balance is over $50,000 and you want to withdraw the excess amount, consult your tax advisor first, as it will be reported on your year-end statement.
What if I want to transfer the funds from My First Home – Savings Account to a different first-time home buyer account at another bank?
You're allowed to transfer the funds in any first-time home buyer account to any other first-time home buyer account without reporting it as income or incurring a penalty. The original first-time home buyer account must be closed before you can open the second account and the funds must be transferred within 60 days of closing the original account. You can't have two first-time home buyer accounts open at the same time.
What if I have a joint My First Home – Savings Account and I want to move the funds into separate accounts for me and my spouse?
You're allowed to transfer funds in any first-time home buyer account to any other first-time home buyer account(s) without reporting it as income or incurring a penalty.
Can you explain the $10,000 subtraction versus the $5,000 subtraction?
Individuals are allowed a subtraction of up to $5,000 per year if they own a My First Home – Savings Account. The $5,000 limit includes contributions made to the account, plus any earnings the account accumulates over the calendar year. Individuals who file a joint return and have either a joint first-time home buyer account or each have their own first-time home buyer account qualify for a maximum $10,000 subtraction per year.
Can someone who's not an account holder contribute to a My First Home – Savings Account?
Yes. However, they won't be able to claim a subtraction for any funds they contribute to you. In addition, you won't be able to claim a subtraction for contributions you don't personally make. You will be able to claim a subtraction for any earnings (interest or dividends) in the account.
What are qualified My First Home – Savings Account expenditures?
Funds in your first-time home buyer account can be used for down payments, loan origination charges, appraisal fees, credit report fees, flood certifications, title charges, deed charges, and other closing costs on your settlement statement when purchasing a single-family home.
What happens if I move out-of-state after opening a My First Home – Savings account?
If you move outside of Oregon, you must notify us so we can close your account and move the funds into a different account. You may be also be subject to a 5 percent tax penalty.
What happens if I don't end up purchasing a home?
If funds are not used to purchase a home within 10 years of opening a My First Home – Savings Account, your account will have to be closed or converted to a regular savings account. There will be no penalty for converting your account to a regular savings account, as the funds are considered taxable income.
If funds are withdrawn within 10 years of opening the account for a reason other than buying a home, you will be required to pay a penalty. In addition, if you remove the funds at any time without purchasing a home, you’ll need to claim the amounts you previously subtracted as an addition on your tax return. The addition to your income occurs in the year that you removed the funds from the first-time home buyer account for a non-qualifying purpose (for example, you remove the funds to pay for college tuition).
How much is the penalty and when will it be imposed?
The penalty is 5 percent of the funds withdrawn from the My First Home – Savings Account. The penalty isn't associated with subtractions you claimed. For example, in calendar year 2019 you contributed $5,000 to a first-time homebuyer account and claimed a $5,000 subtraction on your 2019 tax return. You also earned interest in your account of $50. You're unable to subtract the $50 interest earnings because you already claimed the maximum subtraction of $5,000. Example two: In calendar year 2020, you decide to withdraw all of the funds in your first-time homebuyer account to pay for college tuition. Your penalty would be $252.50 ($5,050 x 5%). In addition, you're required to add back $5,000 on your 2020 tax return for the subtraction you previously claimed. The penalty will be imposed on funds withdrawn within 10 years of the first-time home buyer savings account being opened and used for a non-qualifying purpose.
Are there exceptions when the penalty will not be imposed?
Yes. The penalty won't be imposed on funds that are withdrawn if a person has died, has filed for protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, or has lost function of any portion of the body that permanently incapacitates them from regularly performing work at a gainful occupation. Also, if the funds are withdrawn more than 10 years after the account is opened, they won't be subject to a penalty. However, you'll still be required to add back any previously subtracted contributions and earnings.
Do I have to pay federal tax on deposits and earnings?
Yes. Although deposits and earnings to the first-time buyer account are exempt from state taxes up to the annual limit, they're still subject to federal taxes, depending on your individual tax situation.
Can I contribute more money than allowed as a subtraction and carry over the remainder to take a subtraction in a future year?
Amounts contributed can't be carried forward to the next tax year if you weren't able to use the subtraction or you reached the maximum amount allowed.
The First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account law was passed by the Oregon Legislature under House Bill 4007. Visit the Oregon Department of Revenue website for more information.