Determine if you are a first time homebuyer. The IRS defines a first time homebuyer as someone who has not owned a home for the three years preceeding the purchase. Married couples must be meet this criteria to be eligible. If you meet this criteria continue to step two otherwise skip to step three.
Determine if you are eligible based upon your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). Single taxpayers purchasing homes on or after January 1, 2009 and on or before November 6, 2009, the MAGI limit is $75,000; for sales occurring after November 6, 2009, the limit is $125,000.
Married taxpayers purchasing homes on or after January 1, 2009 and on or before November 6, 2009, the MAGI limit is $150,000; for sales occurring after November 6, 2009, the limit is $225,000.
If you meet this criteria you are elibile for the $8,000 tax credit
If you are not a first time homebuyer but purchased a home between November 7, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010 you may qualify. Additionally you must have lived in your previous home for five of the preceeding eight years. The income limit for a single taxpayer is $125,000, while the limit is $225,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly.
If you meet this criteria you are eligible for the $6,500 tax credit.
Remeber to use IRS form 5105 to claim the credit.
Also, if you do not the MAGI guidelines you may still qualify for a partial credit.
The National Association of Home Builders has put together a site at http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/ to further assts you answer any questions you may have concerning the credit.