As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.
Congress enacted the first-time homebuyer credit – which has ranged in value from $6,500 to $8,000 since its inception in 2008 – to kick-start a sluggish real estate market. While they did their best to keep the qualifications relatively simple, one basic requirement has always been that the taxpayer, you know…actually own a home.
Despite this rather intuitive prerequisite, a recent report by a government investigator revealed that the IRS has been ripped off to the tune of $513 million in improper homebuyer credits, with many of the tax benefits finding their way to prisoners, children under 18, and other taxpayers who never actually purchased a home.
Keep in mind, this same report indicated that the IRS was successful in denying hundreds of thousands of improper claims and managed to identify 200 criminal schemes along the way, which begs the question: Did anyone in America actually deserve the homebuyer credit?
No word on how many improper credits were awarded to members of the notoriously deceitful Farming, Fishing, and Forestry industries.