In places, the Internal Revenue Code is a complicated mess; a tangle of poorly structured provisions and needlessly confusing legalese that practically begs to be misinterpreted.
In other places, eh…not so much.
On March 20, 2008, Donny and Tammy McGuire (the McGuires) purchased their first home on the Arkansas-Oklahoma border. (As an aside, I’m ashamed to admit that I’m a 36-year old, reasonably educated man who had no idea those two states bordered one another.)
On their 2008 tax return, the McGuires claimed a $7,500 first-time homebuyer credit under I.R.C. § 36. There’s just one problem, I.R.C. § 36(h)(1) provides:
This section shall only apply to a principal residence purchased by the taxpayer on or after April 9, 2008, and before May 1, 2010.
And that, boys and girls, is how you wind up with a Tax Court decision that’s only four pages long.