If you're still waiting for your tax refund because the Internal Revenue Service had a problem with your repayment of the 2008 first-time homebuyer credit, you can expect your money by April 5.
Really. That's the official word from the IRS.
OK, the IRS says that target date "assumes that there are no other issues with their return, and that their refunds are not subject to any offsets for unpaid federal taxes or other debts."
And the agency adds that some of the tax refund checks might be sent out the second full week in April.
But the IRS says it now has the computer glitch that caused the delay under control. The bottom line is that the IRS is trying to get refunds out to taxpayers before this year's filing deadline arrives.
The IRS finally created a special Web page to address the concerns of taxpayers who are experiencing delays in their return processing, and associated refunds, because of 2008 first-time homebuyer payback claims.
When asked about the situation earlier this week, the agency was a bit vague in its responses, saying only a "small percentage" of taxpayers were affected. The IRS still isn't elaborating on just how many returns have been held up. But it appears that questions about the situation from Bankrate and others finally have resulted in some other details.
The most important piece of news is, of course, the projected April 5 refund target date.
The IRS also elaborated on the processing problem with the returns, which were from married filing jointly taxpayers who filed their 1040s before Feb. 22. These returns caused problems because they included out-of-the-ordinary repayments of the original first-time homebuyer credit, which was in reality a 15-year no-interest loan.
Two types of paybacks clogged up the IRS computers:
- Taxpayers who reported the sale or disposition of their home, meaning they had to pay back the credit in full, and
- Taxpayers who sent in more than the minimum $500 payment amount.
IRS computers weren't equipped to deal with anything other than the basic payback schedule, which is $500 a year for the next 15 tax-filing years. That meant that all these atypical returns have to be manually entered into the IRS system.
Meanwhile it is updating it computer system again so that it, not actual IRS employees, can handle all types of homebuyer credit paybacks.
And oh yeah, the IRS wants you to please quit calling it about your refund. It knows you're anxious to get your money. But it suggests you use its online refund tracking tool to find out its status.
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