First-time home buyer returns taking longer than expected

By Julia Bruck - bioemail

(KFVS) - Tax day has come and gone, and by now, many of you probably have already spent your tax return.

However, one Heartland man says getting his first-time home buyer tax credit back is taking much longer than expected.

"I have been getting the run around for the IRS ever since I applied for it," Dowell resident Richard Sykes said.

Sykes is referring to his first-time home buyer tax return.  For the past few months, Sykes has received letters from the Internal Revenue Service about his tax return.  Sykes says he bought his first home last fall and has lived there since.  But apparently the IRS still had some questions and requested more information.

"They asked me for proof of address, my drivers' license, and they needed an electric bill to prove that I lived here, (and the) water bill," Sykes said.

Sykes says a tax professional filed his returns and helped send the requested information.  However, he still has not seen any government dollars. Instead, Sykes received more letters.

"I got the next paper saying it's not going to be until the seventeenth of next month before I hear anything," Sykes added.

At Krehbiel and Associates in Mount Vernon, Partner James Leuty says some of his first-time home buyers also have delayed returns.

They (IRS) have a lot of tools if they want to try to verify some information they can do it," Leuty said.

Since the first-time home buyer credit started in 2008, forms have changed. They now require you to attach a settlement statement for your new home.

"Normally you don't have to send documentation in but this was their (IRS) effort preemptive way to curtail this fraud that was going on," Leuty said.

Still, Sykes says he is frustrated with the process and hopes to see government dollars in his bank account much sooner rather than later.

"You can never get anything done with the IRS anymore," Sykes said.

A spokesperson with the IRS says it typically takes about eight weeks for a first-time home buyer to receive a check.  However, she adds if any required paper work is missing, it could take longer.

Meanwhile, Leuty warns the IRS only does business by mail, not email.

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