If you have been thinking about owning a home now is a good time to start saving for that down payment.In Pueblo County, overall home prices rose on average roughly 12% in 2015. The Colorado First Time Homebuyer Savings Account Act was passed by the Colorado Legislature which should help Coloradoans to save money for a down payment.
A First-time Homebuyer Savings Account (FHSA) allows any Coloradan to set aside up to $50,000 toward the costs of purchasing a new home. The earnings on those funds – interest and capital gains – are free from Colorado state taxes forever. FHSAs are a great way for future homeowners to start saving early for the costs of buying a home. These accounts will be simple and easy to set up. Not only can you open a new one, you can also transfer money from one existing savings account to a FHSA. To create an FHSA, you simply include a form (promulgated by the Department of Revenue) when you file your state taxes designating the qualified beneficiary. A qualified beneficiary can be a child or grandchild, or the account holder may designate himself or herself as the qualified beneficiary.
- Parents, grandparents, young couples, etc. are able to designate a new or existing account as their “First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account.”
- Up to $50,000 of “after tax dollars” may be deposited or transferred from another account. The account grows just like any other account, however the growth on the funds are not taxed as income by the Department of Revenue if the funds are used for qualified expenses. Federal taxes are still due. The growth on the funds will be capped at $150,000.
- The Department of Revenue is required to establish a form that an account holder must complete and file with his or her state income tax return. Unqualified purchases will be assessed a penalty as well as tax recapture.
- There is a caveat for active-duty military that may be transferred and purchase a home outside the state.
- Financial institutions (banks, credit unions, investment firms, etc.) are not required to do anything to administer these accounts. The only required action for financial institutions is sending the 1099 at the end of the year, which is what they do on any account. The legislation makes it clear there are no additional regulatory or legal responsibilities on a financial institution.
- Similar to 529 College Savings Plans, recently multiple states have created first-time homebuyer savings accounts. States recognize the social benefits of citizens owning their first home, beginning to plant roots in a community, and becoming active and contributing members of their communities.
To learn more about the First-time Homebuyer Savings Account, visit firsttimehomebuyerco.com.