As an Idahoan, you can save to buy a first home while reducing the Idaho income tax you owe. You’ll save through an Idaho First-time Home Buyer Savings Account (FTHB account). You can take the deduction even if you don’t itemize.
This first home must be a single-family residence that you’ll own and occupy as your primary residence. This home can be a house, townhome, condominium, or manufactured home, among others. It can also be a new home under construction.
If you file taxes as an individual, you qualify if all of these are true:
- You reside in Idaho.
- You’ve filed an Idaho income tax return for the most recent tax year.
You’re a first-time homebuyer. (You’ve never bought or owned, either individually or jointly, a single-family or multifamily residence anywhere.)
If you file taxes as married filing jointly, you and your spouse qualify if all of these are true:
- You both live in Idaho.
- One or both of you have filed an Idaho income tax return for the most recent tax year.
- One or both of you are a first-time homebuyer. (You’ve never bought or owned, either individually or jointly, a single-family or multifamily residence anywhere.)
If you file taxes as married filing separately, you can have an FTHB account if:
- You meet all the requirements as an individual (above).
- You open the account separately from your spouse.
You must establish the FTHB account with a financial institution that’s authorized to do business in Idaho and to act as a fiduciary. This financial institution can be a bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or trust company.
Each calendar year:
- A single person or married person filing separately can contribute up to $15,000.
- A married couple filing jointly can contribute up to $30,000.
Deposits can’t exceed $100,000 for the lifetime of the account. This amount includes both contributions and interest.
You can’t make any withdrawals in the first 30 days after opening the account. You also can’t transfer the account to anyone else.
Contributions and taxes
You can deduct contributions and interest for an Idaho FTHB account on your Idaho income tax return for the year when you made the contributions and earned the interest.
You can deduct the full amount of contributions and interest up to a maximum of:
- $15,000 for a single person or married person filing separately
- $30,000 for a married couple filing jointly
On your Idaho income tax return, you’ll need to provide basic information about this account. Your financial institution will send you a form with this information each January.
Withdrawals and taxes
You don’t have to pay taxes on account withdrawals – including interest – if you use the money to pay for eligible home costs connected to buying a qualifying home. Eligible home costs are:
- The down payment for the home
- A cost, fee, tax, or payment that you must pay to buy the home
- Any Veterans Administration funding fee that you as a designated beneficiary owe in connection with a VA home-loan guaranty program
You must pay taxes on withdrawals you make for anything except eligible home costs.
These things aren’t withdrawals and aren’t taxable:
- Funds you directly transfer from one FTHB account to another one in your name at a different financial institution
- An accidental deposit you withdraw within 15 days
- An accidental withdrawal you redeposit within 15 days
- Fees the financial institution charges to maintain the account
You must keep accurate records of all contributions and withdrawals.
Financial institutions must report account withdrawals to us using Form ID-FTHB, Beneficiary and Withdrawal Schedule First-time Home Buyer Savings Account.