IRS staff committed tax credit fraud

Washington times large front page.More than 100 employees of the Internal Revenue Service cheated the government by fraudulently claiming a first-time homebuyer tax credit included in the 2008 and 2009 economic stimulus packages, according to federal investigators.

The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, in several reports over the past few years, has identified a total of 128 IRS employees who claimed the credit but who also made other claims that showed they either weren’t first-time buyers or bought their homes outside the eligibility period for the credit, which was worth up to $8,000.

Meanwhile, one other IRS employee has been charged with using her position to try to help friends and relatives take advantage of the credit, which was signed by President Bush and then boosted under President Obama’s 2009 stimulus law.

The IRS employees represented a small part of the total fraud in the program, which the inspector general said may have totaled more than a half-billion dollars overall. The inspector general said refundable tax credits, which transfer money back to taxpayers even when their tax liability is zero, “are targets for fraud.”

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