RULE 701-40.82 - First-time homebuyer savings accounts

RULE 701-40.82. First-time homebuyer savings accounts

(1) Definitions. Definitions that apply to the first-time homebuyer savings account program may be found in Iowa Code section 541B2..

(2) Establishing an account.

a. Account holders.

(1) A first-time homebuyer savings account holder must be an individual or married couple.

(2) Any individual may establish a first-time homebuyer savings account by opening an account that meets the requirements provided in this rule.

(3) A married couple who files a joint Iowa income tax return may establish a joint first-time homebuyer savings account by opening a joint savings account that meets the requirements provided in this rule. Married couples who file separately or separately on a combined return for Iowa income tax purposes may not establish a joint first-time homebuyer savings account.

(4) There is no limit on the number of first-time homebuyer savings accounts that any account holder may open. However, account holders are subject to other restrictions under the Iowa Code and these rules, including but not limited to the annual contribution limits and aggregate lifetime limits in paragraph 40.82(4)"c."

(5) No account holder may open or hold more than one account for the same designated beneficiary.

(6) The account holder may change the designated beneficiary of the account at any time.

b. Beneficiaries.

(1) In order to be a designated beneficiary of a first-time homebuyer savings account, an individual must:

1. Be a resident of Iowa, as defined in Iowa Code section 4224.,

2. Not own, either individually or jointly, any single-family or multifamily residence, and

3. Not have owned or purchased, individually or jointly, any single-family or multifamily residence at any time in the three years immediately prior to both:

* The date on which the individual is designated the beneficiary of a first-time homebuyer savings account, and

* The date of the qualified home purchase for which the eligible home costs are paid or reimbursed from the first-time homebuyer savings account.

(2) The designated beneficiary may also be the account holder.

(3) Each account shall have only one designated beneficiary.

(4) The account holder must designate a beneficiary, on forms provided by the department, by April 30 of the year immediately following the tax year in which the account holder opened the account.

c. Account requirements. To qualify as a first-time homebuyer savings account, the account must be:

(1) An interest-bearing savings account meeting the qualifications for a "savings deposit" under 12 CFR 2042(d).,

(2) At a state or federally chartered bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or trust company in Iowa, and

(3) Used exclusively as a first-time homebuyer savings account, in compliance with the requirements of this rule.

(3) Maintaining the account.

a. Contributing to the account.

(1) Any person may make cash contributions to a first-time homebuyer savings account. Cash contributions may be made by people other than the account holder or the beneficiary. However, only the account holder may claim a deduction for contributing to a first-time homebuyer savings account, as described in subrule 40.82(4).

(2) There is no limit on the amount of contributions that may be made to or retained in a first-time homebuyer savings account. However, there are restrictions on the amounts that can be deducted for Iowa income tax purposes, as described in subrule 40.82(4).

b. Documenting transactions.

(1) Annual reports. For each tax year beginning with the tax year in which the first-time homebuyer savings account is established, the account holder must submit a report to the department showing all account activity during the tax year. The report shall be included with the taxpayer's Iowa individual income tax return and must show the account number of, all deposits into, and withdrawals from, the first-time homebuyer savings account, along with any other information required by the forms provided by the department.

(2) Withdrawal reports. All withdrawals must be reported, on forms provided by the department, within 90 days of the date of the withdrawal or, for withdrawals made less than 90 days before an account holder files an income tax return with the department, no later than the date the return is filed. Account holders must report both withdrawals for eligible home costs and any nonqualifying withdrawals. Any withdrawal that appears on the annual report but that is not properly reported at the time it is made shall be deemed to be a nonqualifying withdrawal that must be added back on the account holder's Iowa income tax return for the tax year in which the withdrawal was made.

(3) Account fees. Fees and charges for the maintenance of the account that are deducted from the account by the financial institution in which the first-time homebuyer savings account is held shall not be considered withdrawals for the purposes of the reporting requirements described in paragraph 40.82(3)"b."

c. Nonqualifying withdrawals. Funds may be withdrawn from a first-time homebuyer savings account at any time. However, once any nonqualifying withdrawal, as defined in subparagraph 40.82(5)"a "(2), is made, the account holder may no longer claim the Iowa income tax benefits related to the first-time homebuyer savings account described in subrule 40.82(4). Furthermore, any nonqualifying withdrawal shall also result in an addition to income and penalty as described in subrule 40.82(5).

d. Ten-year limitation. An account shall not remain designated a first-time homebuyer savings account for more than ten years, beginning with the year in which the account was first opened. Any funds remaining in the account on January 1 of the tenth calendar year following the year in which the account holder first opened the account shall be deemed immediately withdrawn and may be subject to Iowa income taxes and penalties as described in subrule 40.82(5). The account holder has no obligation to close the account, but as of January 1 of the tenth calendar year after the year in which the account was opened, the account will no longer be a first-time homebuyer savings account entitled to the Iowa income tax benefits described in this rule. A change in the designated beneficiary of the account does not extend the ten-year period in which the account holder may maintain a first-time homebuyer savings account; the period still runs from the year the account was first opened.

e. Exclusively first-time homebuyer account. For an account to qualify as a first-time homebuyer savings account, the account holder shall use the account exclusively as a first-time homebuyer savings account consistent with these rules.

(4) Deductions.

a. Deduction for contributions. Any funds contributed to the first-time homebuyer savings account by the account holder during the tax year may be deducted from the account holder's net income on the account holder's Iowa individual income tax return for that year, subject to the limitations described in paragraph 40.82(4)"c. " Although anyone may contribute funds to the first-time homebuyer savings account, only the account holder may claim the deduction, and the deduction may be claimed only for amounts the account holder personally contributed.

b. Deduction for interest. To the extent that any interest earned on the funds in a first-time homebuyer savings account is included in the account holder's Iowa income for a tax year, the amount of that interest may be deducted from the account holder's net income on the account holder's Iowa individual income tax return for that tax year, subject to the lifetime limitation described in subparagraph 40.82(4)"c" (2).

c. Limitations.

(1) Annual limitation. The deduction described in paragraph 40.82(4)"a" is subject to the limitations described in paragraphs "1" and "2" below. These limitations apply to the total contributions that the account holder makes to all first-time homebuyer savings accounts owned by the account holder:

1. Joint first-time homebuyer savings account holders. For married couples who are joint first-time homebuyer savings account holders, the deduction is limited to $4,000 per year, adjusted annually for inflation.

2. For all other taxpayers who are first-time homebuyer savings account holders, the deduction is limited to $2,000 per year, adjusted annually for inflation.

(2) Lifetime limitation. Account holders are subject to an aggregate lifetime limit on the deductions described in paragraphs 40.82(4)"a" and"b." No account holder may take total deductions under this program in excess of the lifetime limitation in place for the tax year in which the account holder first opens a first-time homebuyer savings account. The applicable lifetime limit imposed upon taxpayers opening an account in a given year is calculated annually by multiplying the annual limit in effect for that year by 10.

(3) Annual publication of limitations. Each year, the department shall publish the annual contribution limit as indexed for inflation and the lifetime limit applicable to account holders who open accounts during that year.

(5) Additions to income.

a. Nonqualifying withdrawals.

(1) Addition to income. If there is any nonqualifying withdrawal, as defined in subparagraph 40.82(5)"a "(2), during the tax year, the account holder must add to the account holder's Iowa net income for that year the full amount of the nonqualifying withdrawal, to the extent such income was previously deducted under paragraph 40.82(4)"a." Any nonqualifying withdrawal also makes the account holder ineligible to claim any further deductions described in subrule 40.82(4) in any future tax year.

(2) Nonqualifying withdrawal defined.

1. Any withdrawal from a first-time homebuyer savings account for any purpose other than the payment or reimbursement of the designated beneficiary's eligible home costs in connection with a qualified home purchase is a nonqualifying withdrawal. A nonqualifying withdrawal includes but is not limited to a withdrawal caused by the death of the account holder and withdrawal made pursuant to garnishment, levy, bankruptcy order, or any other order. If a nonqualifying withdrawal occurs, the account holder cannot cure the nonqualifying withdrawal by returning funds to the account.

2. A withdrawal shall be presumed to be a nonqualifying withdrawal unless:

* Ownership of the qualifying home which the funds from the account are used to purchase passes to the designated beneficiary within 60 days of the date the funds are withdrawn, and

* The designated beneficiary actually occupies the home as the designated beneficiary's primary residence within 90 days of the date the funds are withdrawn.

3. Notwithstanding subparagraph 40.82(5)"a "(2), any amount transferred between different first-time homebuyer savings accounts of the same account holder by a person other than the account holder shall not be considered a nonqualifying withdrawal.

b. Unused funds. Any amount remaining in a first-time homebuyer savings account on January 1 of the tenth calendar year after the calendar year in which the account holder first opened any first-time homebuyer savings account shall be considered immediately withdrawn. This remaining amount shall be subject to the add-back described in paragraph 40.82(5)"a."

c. Penalties. For any amount considered a withdrawal required to be added to net income pursuant to this subrule, the account holder shall be assessed a penalty equal to 10 percent of the amount of the withdrawal. The penalty shall not apply to withdrawals made by reason of the death of the account holder or to withdrawals made pursuant to a garnishment, levy, or other order, including but not limited to an order in bankruptcy following a filing for protection under the federal Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. ยง 101 et seq.

d. Examples.

EXAMPLE 1: Taxpayer eligible for the deduction; no addition to income or penalty from nonqualifying withdrawal. A is an individual. In 2018, A creates a new interest-bearing savings account with a financial institution. In 2018, A submits a form to the department designating the account as a first-time homebuyer savings account and designating Z, an Iowa resident who has never owned a home, as the beneficiary of the account. In tax year 2018, A contributes $1,000 to the first-time

homebuyer savings account. A contributes $1,000 per year to the first-time homebuyer savings account during tax years 2019, 2020, and 2021. Every year, A timely submits the required annual reports and all accompanying information. In 2021, after A contributed $1,000 to the first-time homebuyer savings account, Z made a qualified home purchase. A withdrew the entire balance of the first-time homebuyer savings account and applied the amount to eligible home costs. Within 90 days of withdrawing the funds, A submitted the required withdrawal report and the necessary supporting documentation to the department.

Result: A is allowed to deduct from net income the amount of the contributions generated from the first-time homebuyer account, since the yearly contributions are below the annual limits. A is allowed to deduct $1,000 each year from A's 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 net income. Additionally, A is allowed to deduct income from interest generated from the account each year. A does not have any addition to net income or any penalties associated with the withdrawal or usage of the funds.

EXAMPLE 2: Nonqualifying withdrawal of entire account due to voluntary withdrawal by A. Assume the same facts as Example 1. However, rather than making a qualified withdrawal, in 2021, A withdraws the entire balance of the first-time homebuyer savings account and pays for Z's college tuition.

Result: The withdrawal is a nonqualified withdrawal. Any withdrawal that is not for eligible home costs is a nonqualified withdrawal. A's nonqualified withdrawal has three results. First, the amount of the nonqualified withdrawal is added back to the account holder's net income for the tax year in which the nonqualified withdrawal occurred. In this example, A's 2021 net income would increase by the amount of the contributions that A previously deducted. (See Iowa Code section 4227(41)."c" (l).)Second, A will be assessed a penalty equal to 10 percent of the total contributions that A previously deducted. (See Iowa Code section 4227(41)."d. ") Third, A will no longer be able to claim the first-time homebuyer deduction in any future tax years. (See Iowa Code section 4227(41)."b "(2)(b).) A is barred from claiming the first-time homebuyer deduction in the future, even if A attempts to open a first-time homebuyer account for a different beneficiary in a different tax year.

Example 3: Nonqualifying withdrawal of entire account by legal process. Assume the same facts as Example 1. However, rather than a qualifying withdrawal occurring, in 2021, a creditor levies the entire balance of the first-time homebuyer account in order to satisfy A's debt to the creditor.

Result: The levy is a nonqualified withdrawal. Any withdrawal, including a withdrawal that is caused by a legal process not initiated by A, that is not for a qualified home purchase is a nonqualified withdrawal. Example 3 has the same result as Example 2, except in Example 3, A does not incur a 10 percent penalty because the withdrawal was due to a levy. (See Iowa Code section 422.7(41)"d. ")

EXAMPLE 4: Nonqualifying withdrawal of a partial balance of a first-time homebuyer savings account. A is an individual. In 2018, A creates a new interest-bearing savings account with a financial institution. In 2018, A submits a form with the department designating the account as a first-time homebuyer savings account and designating Z, an Iowa resident who has never owned a home, as the beneficiary of the account. In tax year 2018, A contributes $1,000 to the first-time homebuyer savings account. A contributes $1,000 per year to the first-time homebuyer savings account during tax years 2019, 2020, and 2021. Every year, A timely submits the required annual reports and all accompanying information. After making the $1,000 deposit for 2021, A has a total of $4,100 in the first-time homebuyer savings account. In 2022, A withdraws $1,000 from the account in order to pay for personal expenses.

Result: The $1,000 withdrawal is a nonqualifying withdrawal. A must file a withdrawal report with the department within 90 days of the withdrawal. A withdrawal report is required for both qualifying and nonqualifying withdrawals. The $1,000 withdrawal will result in the addition of $1,000 to A's 2022 net income. A will also be assessed a $100 penalty. The balance of the first-time homebuyer account is $3,100. Subject to the ten-year limitation and the other requirements of the deduction, A may use the remaining $3,100 for Z's eligible home costs prior to January 1, 2028. If A does so, A will not have the $3,000 added back to A's net income or face any penalties associated with the $3,000 eligible home costs. Regardless of what occurs with the remaining $3,100, A will be prohibited from claiming the first-time homebuyer deduction for any period after the date of the nonqualified withdrawal. This is true even if A attempts to repay the $1,000 withdrawal or if A attempts to open any other first-time homebuyer accounts.

EXAMPLE 5: No withdrawals made within ten years of opening the account. A is an individual. In March of 2018, A creates a new interest-bearing savings account with a financial institution. A completes all of the necessary paperwork and designates Z as the beneficiary of the account. In 2018, and in each subsequent year, A contributes $1,000 to the first-time homebuyer savings account. On December 31, 2027, A has made a total of $10,000 dollars in contributions to the account, has taken a deduction for each contribution, and has made no withdrawals from the account. On January 1, 2028, Z still has not purchased a qualifying home.

Result: As of January 1, 2028, the account is no longer a first-time homebuyer savings account, and the entire account balance is deemed to have been withdrawn in a nonqualifying withdrawal. A is required to report the entire $10,000 previously deducted for contributions to the account as income in tax year 2028 and pay a $1,000 penalty for the nonqualifying withdrawal. A can no longer open a new first-time homebuyer savings account or take any deductions for contributions made to another account under the program.

Example 6: Divorce between taxpayers with a joint account. A and B are a married couple who file a joint Iowa income tax return. In 2018, A and B open a joint savings account and take the necessary steps to designate it as a joint first-time homebuyer savings account. In 2018, A and B contribute $2,000 to the account and deduct the full amount on their joint Iowa income tax return for 2018. They contribute the same amount, file joint returns, and deduct the full amount in tax years 2019, 2020, and 2021. In 2022, A and B divorce. The divorce decree divides the funds in the account evenly between A and B.

Result: In this situation, when the funds from the account are distributed between A and B, the entire withdrawal is deemed to be a nonqualifying withdrawal, and A and B are jointly and severally liable for the payment of the tax and penalty due on the entire amount that they previously deducted for contributions to the first-time homebuyer savings account.

Alternative result: A and B can avoid this result by taking some steps before the divorce decree is entered. Prior to the divorce decree, A and B can each open a new first-time homebuyer savings account individually. As long as the divorce decree orders that funds from the original joint first-time homebuyer savings account be transferred to A's and B's new individual accounts, the funds may be transferred without triggering a nonqualifying withdrawal, A and B will not be subject to taxes or penalties on their previous contributions to the account, and each will still be eligible to take deductions for contributions to their new accounts, subject to the applicable limitations. In this scenario, the transfer must occur as a direct result of a court order; if A or B transfers funds themselves, the transfer is deemed to be a nonqualifying withdrawal.

Even if the funds in A and B's original joint account are successfully transferred without triggering a nonqualifying withdrawal as described above, both A and B will still be jointly and severally liable for any tax or penalty due on any nonqualifying withdrawal that either makes later, up to the amount they deducted on their joint returns prior to the divorce.

Example 7: Death of the account holder. A is an individual. In 2018, A creates a new interest-bearing savings account with a financial institution. In 2018, A submits a form to the department designating the account as a first-time homebuyer savings account and designating Z, an Iowa resident who has never owned a home, as the beneficiary of the account. In tax year 2018, A contributes $ 1,000 to the first-time homebuyer savings account. A makes $1,000 contributions per year to the first-time homebuyer savings account during tax years 2019, 2020, and 2021. Every year, A timely submits the required annual reports and all accompanying information. In 2022, A dies without having withdrawn any funds from the account either for a qualifying home purchase for Z or for any other reason.

Result: All of the funds in the account are deemed immediately withdrawn at the time of A's death. Because this is a nonqualifying withdrawal, the $4,000 in contributions which A previously deducted must be included as income on A's final return. However, because the reason for the deemed withdrawal was A's death, the 10 percent penalty is not included on A's final return.

This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code section 4227. and chapter 541B.

(Adopted by IAB April 25, 2018/Volume XL, Number 22, effective 5/30/2018)

The following state regulations pages link to this page.