January 7, 2011

The IRS Goes to Jail

Justin Katz

This is the agency that will be central to ensuring that healthcare is universal:

The number of prisoners who file false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service has more than doubled in the last five years, according to a new Treasury Department report, and the amount of money the IRS has mistakenly refunded to those prisoners has nearly tripled. Meanwhile, the report, from the Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration, accuses the IRS of failing to enforce a law passed by Congress in 2008 to crack down on false returns coming from the nation's prisons.

According to the study, in 2009, prisoners filed 44,944 false tax returns, attempting to claim $295.1 million in refunds. The report says IRS officials caught the fraud in many cases and stopped $256 million of that from being refunded -- but the IRS did mistakenly pay $39.1 million in refunds to prisoners filing fraudulent returns. The report also notes that there is some evidence that fraud is even more widespread than these figures suggest.

The solution is a simpler tax code and a lighter tax burden. If the government didn't take so much money out of the economy, it would be easier to track, and if it didn't insist on withholding tax-free loans for itself from Americans' paychecks, it wouldn't be sending back so much money (without interest, naturally) at the end of the tax year.

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The IRS *should* go to jail...and stay there!

Posted by: Patrick at January 7, 2011 12:19 PM

Reminds me of a lawyer from Attleboro, or North Attleboro, Massachusetts. A former state legislator, He was caught filing returns in the names of his clients and keeping the refunds. He was sentenced to prison and continued to file the false returns from there.

What were they going to do to him, send him to Viet Nam?

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 7, 2011 8:54 PM
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