Monday, July 27, 2009


I just returned from the Post Office where I mailed out to a client my first 2008 Form 1040X (amended return) filed to claim the $8,000 First-time Homebuyer Credit for a home purchased in 2009. Within the next 6 weeks my client will be receiving a check from the Internal Revenue Service for $8,000.00!

What did we have to do to get this free government grant? All we did was enter the taxpayer’s name, Social Security number, date the home was purchased and Adjusted Gross Income on IRS Form 5405.

We did not have to attach a copy of the Closing Statement or a certified copy of the transfer of title. The taxpayer didn’t even have to separately sign the Form 5405 to certify that she purchased a home in 2009 and that the purchase qualifies for the credit.

I had to provide more information to the State of New Jersey to get an $80.00 tenant rebate!

Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy for my client. She met the requirements set forth by Congress and is legally entitled to this free money – so she should by all means get it. If Congress is going to throw away money why shouldn’t some of it get thrown to my clients?

I hope she will make good use of the $8,000 – pay down her mortgage or pay off credit card debt, make capital improvements to the home, purchase a long-term CD or some blue chip stock, or maybe open a ROTH IRA. But even if she uses the money to take a luxurious high-end cruise it is ok – because she will never have to give the money back!

Not so with the handful of 2008 home-buying clients whose timing was not as fortuitous. They qualified for the credit because of a 2008 home purchase and got $500 less and will have to pay the money back! Bummer. I truly hope they made good use of their $7,500.

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