No Homebuyer Credit For Beneficiary Who Purchased Home from Estate.

A mother died, leaving her two sons as beneficiaries and executors of her estate. One son purchased the home from the estate at a price of $215,000. The deed was given from the two brothers, individually and as executors of their mother’s estate, to the purchasing brother. The purchasing brother claimed an $8,000 first-time homebuyer’s credit on his 2008 tax return. The IRS denied the credit on the grounds that the brother, as a beneficiary of his mother’s estate, purchased the home from a related person, namely the executors of the estate. The purchasing brother alleged that he was entitled to the credit because siblings are not “related persons” under IRC §36(c)(3)(A)(i) and he purchased the house from his brother. Affirming the tax court, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, finding that while the definition of related persons in the statute exempted siblings, it included “an executor of an estate and a beneficiary of such estate.” The documentation attendant to the transfer supported the determination that the taxpayer purchased the property from the estate, not from his brother as an individual. New Jersey law specifying that property vests immediately in the beneficiaries upon the death of the decedent did not mean that title transferred to the brothers upon their mother’s death.  Zampella v. Comm'r, No. 13-1672, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6245, 2014-1 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) P50250 (3d Cir. Apr. 4, 2014).

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