While the Internal Revenue Service is encouraging taxpayers to file their returns electronically, taxpayers who used the first-time home-buyer tax credit will have to send in their tax return by paper this year.
First-time home buyers who used the credit will have to go to the IRS Web site, www.irs.gov, to download a form claiming the tax credit. Taxpayers can still use tax filing programs to prepare their return, but will have to print it out and mail it in.
The IRS said paper filing will help prevent fraud and catch people who may have taken advantage of the $8,000 tax credit but didn’t use it to buy a home.
The IRS said it plans to start processing returns by mid-February, adding it may take an extra two to three weeks for taxpayers who used the home buyer tax credit to see refunds.
Among other documentation required for taxpayers who used the home buyer tax credit:
• A copy of the settlement statement showing all parties’ names and signatures, property address, sales price, and date of purchase.
• For mobile home purchasers who are unable to get a settlement statement, a copy of the executed retail sales contract showing all parties’ names and signatures, property address, purchase price and date of purchase.
• For a newly constructed home where a settlement statement is not available, a copy of the certificate of occupancy showing the owner’s name, property address and date of the certificate.
In November, Congress extended the federal home buyer tax credit program to June 30 for buyers to settle on a property.
Homeowners who have lived in their home for five of the last eight years can also qualify for a $6,500 tax credit if they close on a home.