Q: We closed on our house in May of 2010. We are still waiting to receive our $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers.

The family that we bought the house from did not move out of the home until September 1st. This is because the house they were planning on buying fell through. We let them stay because they have small children and we were not in any rush to move in.

They paid our mortgage, taxes, principle, interest and all utilities for the three months they stayed in the property.

I’m wondering if we have not received the tax credit yet because the IRS is considering this to be a rental property even though we did buy it to be our primary residence. It just took us a few months to move in. I have called the IRS and they said they are “working on our case.”

I’m hoping by letting that family stay we did not give up the $8000! Please let me know what you think.

A: I’m a little confused. You don’t just get the tax credit at closing. No one is going to give you a check. You’re supposed to get it when you file your taxes, which would be now, for last year.

If you filed your tax return or amended your tax return for the prior year, the IRS may be reviewing the return for errors and inconsistencies. In some cases, the IRS will give a tax return a second look when the address you use to file the tax return differs from the address you claim is your new primary residence. There are other reasons that the IRS might hold off on a refund check to you.

You might want to talk to your tax preparer about going over your tax return and making sure that you met all of the qualifications for the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit and that you did not make any mistakes in filing a return or amending a prior year’s return.

Since you were required to attach paperwork to the return, you’ll want to be sure all of that is in order. If it is, then call the IRS and try to work with someone who can help track down what happened to your return – and your check.