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Potential fraud cited in homebuyer credit

Potential fraud cited in homebuyer credit

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WASHINGTON -- The rush to implement a tax credit for first-time homebuyers opened the program to potential fraud by people who hadn't bought a home or already owned one, Congress was told Thursday.

J. Russell George, treasury inspector general for tax administration, questioned the eligibility of some 100,000 claims out of the 1.5 million who have sought to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit incorporated in the economic stimulus package enacted in February.

George and an Internal Revenue Service official testifying before a House Ways and Means Committee subcommittee stressed that many of the questioned claims may eventually be found to be legitimate.

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