Friday, February 6, 2009


It has been a quiet beginning to the season – no deluge yet, barely more than a trickle.

I had some time, and I couldn’t resist posting this info on a recent TIGTA study of the Earned Income Credit. The highlights below are mine -

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) today publicly released its most recent review of the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Earned Income Tax Credit Program (EITC).

The report concludes that the IRS has successfully developed processes to identify erroneous EITC payments prior to their issuance to taxpayers. However, the IRS estimates that between $10 billion and $12 billion in erroneous EITC payments were made in Tax Year 2006. This estimate was based on data for Tax Year 2006, which was the latest data available at the time the audit was conducted. The IRS received $43.7 billion in EITC claims during that time. (A Tax Year for individuals is the calendar year used to compute a taxpayer's taxable income.)

Reducing erroneous and improper payments has been previously identified by TIGTA as an IRS major management challenge. The current findings are the latest in a series of audits issued by TIGTA since 2002 identifying problems with the EITC.

TIGTA's new report concluded that while the IRS has improved its oversight and management of the EITC program, it is still unable to stop the majority of erroneous EITC claims. The report found that the IRS's compliance resources are limited and additional alternatives to traditional compliance methods have not been developed, resulting in the majority of the potentially erroneous EITC claims identified being paid in error


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