Tuesday, October 27, 2009


From Betsy:
Congress passed a law that made it possible to have the IRS mail you a check for $8,000 if you claimed you were a first-time homebuyer. That’s all you had to do -- assert that you deserved the credit. The IRS didn’t require you to provide proof that your claim was genuine before your check was put in the mail. Sound like a recipe for fraud?

The tax fraud was so widespread and egregious that it almost makes you laugh.

Did you forget to buy a house before claiming the credit? Not a problem. “We identified more than 19,300 electronically filed 2008 tax returns on which taxpayers claimed the First-Time Homebuyer Credit for a home which had not yet been purchased,” reported J. Russell George, the U.S. Treasury inspector general for tax administration, who testified about his department’s investigation.

Prior Home Ownership

Did you claim the credit even though you owned a home previously? Not a problem. George said his office found almost 74,000 claims “by taxpayers who had indications of prior home ownership within the preceding three years.”

Were you unable to purchase a home because you haven’t finished preschool and don’t know how to read the forms? Not a problem. George cited the “more than 580 taxpayers younger than 18 years of age who claimed almost $4 million in First-Time Homebuyer Credits. The youngest taxpayers receiving the credit were 4-years-old.”

The shocking facts go on and on. About 3,200 claims were filed with individual taxpayer identification numbers, rather than Social Security numbers, suggesting that alien residents joined American citizens in partaking in this rip-off.

This makes you wonder if Congress knew what was in the Stimulus Bill if this would have been part of the legislation. BestView cynically thinks it probably would not have made any difference.

Personal Unsecured Loan