According to the Government Accountability Office, improper payments under the earned income tax credit (EITC) in fiscal year 2014 totaled $17.7 billion. What’s more, improper payments amounted to 27.7% of the total payments made under the program. In other words, more than one out of every four EITC payments went to someone who shouldn’t have received it.
As I pointed out way back in 2012, the filing of false tax returns using stolen identities for the purpose of obtaining fraudulent refunds (most of which undoubtedly claim payments under the EITC) is a huge problem.
Protecting itself from scammers is a problem that the IRS, or the federal government more generally, seems incapable of fixing.
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