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House Subcommittee to Study Homebuyer Tax Credit Fraud

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The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee will hold a hearing Thursday on the administration of the first-time homebuyer tax credit. Specifically, the subcommittee will review the circumstances surrounding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)'s more than 100,000 civil examinations of potential fraud related to the credit. The subcommittee will also consider opportunities to enhance the administration of the tax credit during the 2010 tax filing season. “I am pleased that more than one million taxpayers claimed the first-time homebuyer credit,” said subcommittee chairman Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). “However, I am concerned about recent reports that there have been fraudulent schemes involving the credit.” The IRS completed its first successful prosecution of a first-time homebuyer tax credit fraud-related case in late July. As of September 30, the IRS identified 167 criminal schemes involving the credit. “This hearing will allow the Subcommittee to hear what, if any, additional steps should be taken to allow the IRS to strike a balance between issuing timely refunds of the homebuyer tax credit and protecting federal revenue,” Lewis said. On Monday, a trio of real estate trade associations submitted a letter to government leaders calling for the extension and expansion of the tax credit. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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