It took 6 months to tell me this?

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If you read my Facebook status, you already know that the IRS has denied me the first-time homebuyers’ tax credit today. I got the paperwork in the mail, and it basically told me that it was official that there would be no $8,000 check coming to me.

It’s because they say I owned a house in the past three years. You know how for months I’ve had the sinking feeling that because of the ‘community property’ part of being married, I wouldn’t qualify for the credit? Yet, I had no proof of this because the IRS website didn’t give me information that backed up my concern– they didn’t talk about divorce, they talked about separation, and people who are still married and their spouses have their names on the deed… they outlined the situations that disqualified a person, and mine never fit anywhere, exactly? Well, I was right. My gut feeling turned out to be horribly warranted. Damn it.

They said that I claimed mortgage interest on the house in 2006, and as such, I don’t qualify for the credit. The rules are that you have not owned any property in the past three years, and they say nope, I DID own a property in the last three years. My husband’s house. The house he bought two years prior to even meeting me. The house with a deed that my name was NEVER added to; the mortgage that had his name on it only, not mine. Sure, I paid half the mortgage for the time I lived there, but it’s not like I gained anything from that. In 2006, we filed married, but separate. When we divorced, I made no claim to his house, or any of my portion of the mortgage payments he made. I got NOTHING. I walked away, he still had his house, and he was lucky enough to have a fool like me helping him make mortgage payments for almost three years (and only one that was reported to the IRS) so his mortgage gets paid off all that quicker.

The IRS says I owned a house in 2006, and I just don’t agree with that statement. If you call up public records for taxes, you will NOT see my name as the payee for the taxes on that house, any year. That’s because he was the only person who OWNED THE HOUSE. I plan to use those records as evidence, too, when I repeal this with the IRS.

I can’t believe that, if this was the issue to keep me from claiming this credit, it took them six fucking months to tell me so. I imagine the IRS’ fancy computer system and databases have my social security number in them… didn’t they run my SS# first thing when I applied? And if so, didn’t this particular red flag show up at that point? And then, last month they asked for additional documentation about my house. I had to send my closing statements, a copy of my last mortgage payment coupon, my driver’s license, a copy of my last electric bill AND a pay stub that has my address on it. They wanted proof I wasn’t lying about buying a house. Well, I proved to them that yes, I did. There was no indication at that point that this marriage-related shit was going to be an issue. Why have me send in all that stuff if I was going to be denied for another reason, anyway?

So frustrating and aggravating. If they hadn’t dragged this out so long, I might be a little more accepting of this denial. But to take 6 months to tell me no just seems a little excessive, and kind of mean, for lack of a better word.

My other thoughts are that I can try to file again with my 2009 tax return, because even if they insist “no, you were married to someone with a house and so you had a house”, if the issue is the three years’ time business, maybe because they are calling out the 2006 taxes, I can get it on my 2009 taxes. What I had done, of course, was attempt to amend my 2008 taxes to get the credit. And sure, it’s true: 2008-2006 = 2 years, not 3. So who knows… maybe it’ll work this way with Attempt #2.

I’m so anxious to get to Jackson Hewitt and figure this shit out, hopefully tomorrow. I’m ready to file my 2009 taxes right now, so let’s go, let’s DO THIS.

I think I have rambled and not worded this all in proper English, but at the moment I don’t even care. It’s only my blog, not something with my name on it. I just needed to spit this all out so I can feel better.

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4 responses »

  1. I would think there would be a way to fight this. Maybe looking into a accountant for help or a lawyer? Although that would cost more money…

    It just seems so unfair and so unbelievably contrite. Too black and white. There has to be some leeway…although this is the government we are talking about.

    Fight fight fight until all your options are gone. Because you deserve that money! And if you cna’t get it I suggest telling your ex he owes you eight grand. 🙂

  2. Definitely point out the wording used on their website, that you have been pouring over for months as you debated this. I mean, according to what THEY said right there in black and white…

    …right?

  3. UGH. Isn’t marriage grand? After I got divorced I went to get a new license back East with my maiden name and found out my lawyer had “forgotten’ to check the box saying I could revert back to my maiden name, so I had to spend another $350 just to get rid of my EX’s damn name. Divorce, the gift that keeps on giving. 😦 Sorry L, this sucks.

  4. Because I’m obsessing over this, I went through not only the IRS site today but a few others that offer FAQs and ‘scenarios’ to address various questions about eligibility, and seriously, everything uses the phrase “legally separated”, NOT “divorced.” When people have written in questions on forums asking my exact question, guess what the response of the experts is? Something along the lines of, “I will forward your question to the IRS and post the answer here” and then nothing is ever posted!! If you have absolutely nothing else to do and want to fill the time, type “first time homebuyer credit and divorce” inot Google and you’ll see what I mean.

    Honestly, it’s maddening.

    I’m going to try to do a phone meeting with someone, and if that doesn’t work then I will physically go down to the IRS building and do the face to face thing. I need an answer. It’s driving me crazy.

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