Federal investigators have unraveled serious tax fraud among agents and other employees of the IRS. Specifically, 128 employees of the Internal Revenue Service have been identified as having cheated the federal government by fraudulently claiming a first-time homebuyer tax credit included in the 2008 and 2009 economic stimulus packages. And that number almost certainly is the tip of a much larger iceberg of tax cheats within the IRS.
“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 tax 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 crdit, which was worth up to $8,000.” Stephen Dinan, ‘IRS staff committed tax credit fraud’, The Washington Times, May 24, 2011
The IRS employees represented a small part of the total fraud in the program, which the inspector general suggests may have totaled more than a half billion dollars overall. The inspector general points out that refundable tax credits, which transfer money back to taxpayers even when their tax liability is zero, ‘are targets for fraud’. But then the President and the Democratic -controlled Congress knew that full well when they set up that pot of gold for vote-seeking purposes.
Members of Congress, who have oversight over the IRS said it’s ‘particularly egregious’ when the employees are caught cheating. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! The truth is that the IRS, from the outset did not even require those claiming the credit to submit documents proving their eligibility before they were granted the credit; and Congress did not give the agency the tools to track fraud.
Hey, guys, the cost is on the forgotten man – the grubby taxpayer whom we all love to hate – so let us make this one an open season to fill our own pockets! President Obama can claim for one of these on the White House and we can claim for one each on the Capitol!
‘You’ve gotta pick a pocket or two boys! You’ve gotta pick a pocket or two!’