Someone’s got some explaining to do: the Internal Revenue Service sent out about $11.6 billion in payments it shouldn’t have, through the Earned Income Tax Credit program last year, according to a report by the inspector general. This isn’t going over well with its parents at the White House because that is way more than its allowance.
Not only did it muck up last year, but the report from the Treasury Department deputy inspector general shows that the IRS failed to comply for two years in a row with President Barack Obama’s Improper Payments Elimination Act, reports the Washington Post. That bit of legislation was put in place in 2010 and limits federal agencies to an improper payment rate of less than 10%.
The agency “has made little improvement in reducing EITC improper payments,” the report said. We know that tone of voice.
So how did it happen? There are plenty of reasons, with the one big one being pretty simple: taxes are tricky. The law is complex, and the population of people who can get the EITC is always changing. You might be eligible for it one year but not the next, and sometimes that can slip by tax preparers.
The IRS promises it won’t disappoint mom and dad in the future, however.
“The reduction of improper payments is a top priority for the IRS, and we are making progress in this area,” the agency said in a statement. “We will continue to work hard to get the credit to those who are eligible while protecting against improper payments.”
IRS issued billions in improper refunds, report says [Washington Post]