Preliminary numbers from the Internal Revenue Service suggest 1.4 million taxpayers will claim the federal first-time homebuyer tax credit on their 2008 tax returns, meaning the program is likely to meet or exceed the 2 million target set by lawmakers before it sunsets Nov. 30, 2009.

A report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which looks at 56.9 million tax returns received through March 6, revealed that 567,685 households claimed the tax credit, but 38,158 weren’t eligible because they may have been homeowners in the last three years.

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