Watchdog.org – M. D. Kittle – 10/23/2013
During the past decade, the IRS has handed out a minimum of $110 billion in improper EITC payments, and as much as $132 billion. That’s the value of at least 4 ½ federal government shutdowns.
“This is just further evidence of a federal government that is a very broken, very dysfunctional and very inefficient entity,” U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, told Watchdog.org.
The IRS offered several reasons for the improper payments, not the least of which is the “complexity” of the EITC tax law, “including the need for congressional authorization of math error authority,” according to the audit. Part of the problem, according to a TIGTA official, is that the IRS doesn’t have the authority to correct simple math errors on EITC forms without the benefit of an audit.
Other reasons include:
- Confusion among eligible claimants
- High turnover of eligible claimants
- Unscrupulous tax return preparers
- Downright fraud