WASHINGTON, DC-Following the release of a Treasury Department Inspector General report detailing fraud related to the first-time homebuyer tax credit, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation (S.1930) to add protections and increase oversight to the program.
“The first-time homebuyer tax credit has proven to be a popular and successful effort that has spurred the housing market and provided tax relief to 1.4 million Americans,” said Senator Casey. “Despite the success of the program, there are significant and troubling issues with its oversight. My legislation would help to fix these problems as we look to extend the tax credit to continue providing economic relief.”
A report released by the Treasury Department Inspector General found 167 suspected schemes and over 100,000 individual cases that require examination.
As Congress contemplates extending the credit, additional measures must be added to ensure its proper use. To prevent further fraudulent activity, Senator Casey’s legislation would mandate increased IRS oversight of the first-time homebuyer tax credit program.
Specifically, the amendment would require taxpayers:
• To be 18 years of age to claim the credit;
• To submit their settlement statement with their tax returns; and
• To submit a certified statement of eligibility signed by the person who conducted the closing of the transaction.
In addition, it would require the IRS to report to Congress on any prosecutorial and investigatory actions related to the tax credit within 90 days after enactment and quarterly thereafter.