Suckered: IRS gave cheaters $500 million in first-time homebuyer credits 

WHAT: The Internal Revenue Service paid $326 million in tax credits to 47,000 taxpayers who didn’t qualify as first-time homebuyers because of evidence they previously owned homes, said Treasury Inspector Seneral for Tax Administration J. Russell George.

WHO ELSE: Another nearly $200 million went to some 19,000 bogus claimants — prison inmates, people buying homes before the credit took effect, people who didn’t buy homes at all, or multiple people claiming full credits for buying the same home.

HOW: The inspector general’s investigation found that thousands of cheats got away with blatantly entering disqualifying information on their claim forms — future purchase dates, pre-credit purchase dates, information contradicted by previous returns.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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