It’s one thing for the bureaucrats to not be able to get their computers under control, but quite another when they just keep ripping we and thee for more dough, and then they just throw it away.
So noted the Treasury Inspector General last week, who observed that from 2003 through 2012, Uncle Sam sloughed off somewhere between $110 and $133 billion (with a capital ‘B’) in improper earned income tax credits. As the Wall Street Journal points out, that’s about $11 billion each and every year, on average, or more than the $9.5 billion Congress has appropriated for spending by the Department of Commerce just this year alone!
And if that’s not bad enough, the Inspector General says that at least 21 percent of those payments and as much as 26 percent were “improper.”
And this, in the wake of Obama’s 2009 executive order (one of his favorites, no?) which instructed the IRS to reduce the level of this “impropriety.” Talk’s cheap.
But hold it — IRS also announced, last week, that it’s so busy (for one thing — giving money away to a bunch of folk who don’t deserve it) everything else will just have to be put on hold for at least two weeks, come this tax season, because of delays occasioned by the recent government shutdown.
You mean to tell me that something that happened for a few days in October will have any impact at all on what these bureaucrats will be doing two or three months from now? Try that excuse in the private sector and see how many of your “customers” just sit back and accept such a notion!
“While the IRS says it cannot start the filing season on time, somehow it found the most essential operation to be the implementation of the president’s health care law,” quoth House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp. “The IRS needs to explain why implementing the president’s health care law is more important than processing tax returns in a timely manner.”
We know you will all be shedding a tear for the Revenooers, whose official news release on the matter bleated that “About 90 percent of IRS operations were closed during the shutdown, with some major workstreams closed entirely during this period, putting the IRS nearly three weeks behind its tight timetable for being ready to start the 2014 filing season. There are additional training, programming and testing demands on IRS systems this year in order to provide additional refund fraud and identity theft detection and prevention.”
Pardon us while we wipe away a tear...
CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISER – This article contains general information about various tax matters. You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation. Jeff Quinn, the author of this article, is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno. He may be reached at 831-7288, welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org, and invites readers to consider his other commentary at http://blog.nolo.com/taxes.