By: Don Thomas
In a recent report from the Treasury inspector general in Washington the IRS paid between $13.3B to $15.6B in improper Earned Income Tax Credits in 2013 to people, who may not have qualified. The Earned Income Credit is supposed to go to low income working families.
The inspector general, J. Russell George also stated, “ The IRS can and must do more to protect tax payer dollars from waste, fraud and abuse.”
The IRS said it is aggressively fighting tax fraud and is improving its efforts to police EITC payments. The agency said it has stopped nearly 15 million suspicious returns since 2011 blocking more that $50 billion in fraudulent refunds.
According to the government the Earned Income Credit is one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty programs. In 2011 there was more than 27 million families receiving nearly $62 billion in credits.
As part of this program a low income family with 1 to 3 children can receive refunds on average of $1,000 to $6,000 even if they had not federal withholding or estimated payments made to the IRS in a year. The size of the credit depends on the family income and number of children.
The interesting part of this report by the inspector general is that the estimated range of improper EITC payments from 2003 through 2013 is at least $124.1 billion to as much as $148.2 billion during this period.
Based on a statement from the IRS, “The IRS remains deeply concerned about the level of improper payments and a major review is currently underway in exploring a wide range of options to distinguish valid claims from excessive ones.”
Stay tuned for more information in future blogs on items of interest with the IRS and taxes.