The Internal Revenue Service has paid out more than a half-billion dollars in homebuyer tax credits to people who probably didn’t qualify, a government investigator said Friday.
• More than 47,500 taxpayers claimed the first-time homebuyer credit even though there was evidence on previous tax returns that they had already owned a home, including deductions for mortgage interest, real estate taxes and mortgage insurance. The report estimated these people claimed $326 million in credits.
• More than 13,400 taxpayers claimed the credit even though they had not yet purchased a home. These people listed future purchase dates on their tax forms. The report estimated these people claimed $97.8 million in credits. The IRS said it believes these estimates are overstated.
• More than 1,000 taxpayers said they purchased homes while they were incarcerated in prison, claiming $7.7 million.
• More than 2,500 taxpayers claimed credits for buying homes for which at least one other taxpayer also claimed the credit for buying. These taxpayers received $11.4 million.
• More than 2,700 taxpayers claimed credits for homes that were purchased before the tax credit went in effect. These taxpayers received $17.6 million.
• The IRS disallowed $531,134 in tax credits claimed by 96 taxpayers who were under age 18, making it unlikely they purchased a home.
Is anyone going to jail this time?