Although receiving the first-time homebuyer tax credit initially took six weeks to receive, many customers have had problems receiving their credit from the IRS. As evidenced by the six hundred comments below, many have not been thrilled with the process, even those who filed the paperwork correctly and legitimately should receive the credit.
For those of you who have filed or are planning to file an amended income tax return (form 1040X) to receive the (up to) $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit this year rather than waiting for next year, there is some good news.
Although the IRS is more than likely overwhelmed, the refunds initially took six to eight weeks to receive. Here is an early comment from a Consumerism Commentary reader:
Just wanted to let you know that I received my $8,000 (plus interest) from my 1040X by mail yesterday. I mailed my amended return around June 25, so I feel the turnaround was very acceptable. Even though our original refund came by direct deposit, this one came by check; I don’t know why.
There are a few interesting notes to take away from Kimberly’s experience.
The IRS is providing interest payments as if they owed money to the taxpayer since April 15. This is the normal case when the IRS underpays a refund. It’s good to see they are providing interest in the same manner here even though the law was not created until after many people had filed their 2008 tax returns.
Six weeks is a reasonable time frame to expect your credit. Many people I’ve spoken with expected the credits to take much longer, prompting some to suggest waiting until the 2009 income tax return is due. I see no reason to wait that long. Plus, it’s unlikely you’ll receive interest if you wait until April 2010.
Keep in mind that if your paperwork requires manual intervention, like an address change, or if the information you provide does not match what the IRS has on file, your credit could take longer to receive.
The refunds are sent by paper check. I warned of this in earlier articles. Even though you may have designated a bank account for direct deposit when you filed your original tax return, the IRS is sending the refunds through the U.S. Postal Service as if we were still living in the twentieth century.
Have you received your first-time homebuyer tax credit yet? How long did it take?
Updated July 31, 2011 and originally published August 7, 2009.