IRS pays $110 billion in improper tax credits; Hatch says it doesn't bode well for Obamacare subsidies

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  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    A typical example of where the liberal elites that want to run everything always fail. Government does a much worse job of running an economy than the private sector. A simple fat tax would save maybe $300 billion a year and no deductibles. It takes Americans 7 billion hours to calculate their taxes from thousands of pages of tax code and nearly half of Americans don't pay any income tax.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 2:24 p.m.


    The Gov't going off half-cocked and doing it half-right (not the word I wanted to use).

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 9:51 a.m.


    Don't worry about getting audited forever. If the Democrats ever get their way, they will take away charitable deductions to organizations like Church and BSA. And I'm not trying to be funny in saying that. I really think a good portion of Democrats and especially liberals would be very happy to take away those types of deductions.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 23, 2013 7:57 a.m.

    $110B, or $11B per year?

    And they are auditing me for $400? Three years in a row? Just because my charitable donations include conservative groups like the LDS Church and the BSA?

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Oct. 23, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    And now that the Federal Government is adding another huge layer of bureacratic nightmare to the system, namely the 2600 page health care plan, we can now expect more unaccounted for and mismanaged tax payer money to make our country even more inefficient and deeper in debt. Too big of anything, government, business, religion, ect. always becomes too big for proper management, because no one person or group of persons can keep track of all that needs to be kept track of. It's practically a law of physics.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 8:33 p.m.

    David is right. The tax code desperately needs simplifying. Then let go half the IRS people, and let them go out into the economy and do something constructive, to bring more revenue into the government.

    So simple. So right. So impossible when those making the tax rules are using those rules to buy donor support.

  • netjes Grand Rapids, MI
    Oct. 22, 2013 8:06 p.m.

    It's in the government's interest to give out improper tax credits. That's why they do it.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 5:46 p.m.

    The tax code is simply too complex and to big for any agency to implement and carry out enforcement. There are thousands of pages that detail and define the tax code.

    It is past time to simplify the tax code. A flat tax would fix much of the problems described in this article. A flat tax with either no deductions, or relatively few deductions, would work nicely.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 5:38 p.m.

    Two things...

    If this tax credit is complicated in some way, why not just simplify it... especially since there is so much lost money involved.

    Secondly, why should we be paying anyone (rich or poor) for the privilege of living in the U.S.? To let some people get by without paying any federal tax should be benefit enough. It seems crazy for the IRS to be actually paying back more money than people pay into the system. Dumb things like that is yet another reason this country is going broke so quickly.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 5:02 p.m.

    That's rich.....the IRS blaming the unscrupulous Taxpreparers is akin to Bernie Madoff blaming George Bush

  • Fender Bender Saint George, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    Here are some interesting facts from a recent article in the New Yorker by George Packer:

    Nationally, the IRS's workforce has been cut by 25% over the last twenty years, whereas the number of individual tax returns filed annually has grown by more than 25% over the same time period. This means there are much fewer IRS employees with a much higher workload.

    As a result, the IRS conducts about half the number of face-to-face audits compared to 1992. The odds of being convicted of a crime due to an IRS investigation has also decreased by approximately 50%.

    Meanwhile, most IRS employees haven't had a raise in over three years, every IRS employee lost three days of pay due to the sequestration last year, and during the recent shutdown about 90% of IRS employees were sent home without pay.

    This all equates to "mission accomplished" for many conservatives who feel like smaller government is always better government.

    However, at current spending levels, it's estimated that every dollar added to the IRS budget results in an additional seven dollars collected in revenue. So while Republicans pat themselves on the back for less spending, tax evasion runs rampant.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Oct. 22, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    The number of IRS employees has declined over the past 10-15 yrs. There were more IRS employees in the 90's than there are now.
    The IRS budget was cut last year by $300 million. They are having to do more with less. The advent of electronic filing also opens up new avenues for tax fraud.

    Our tax system could be made simpler but that isn't going to happen--not with the dysfunction in D.C. And powerful interests wanting to protect favored loopholes.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 2:56 p.m.

    the affordable care act is going to be a huge mess and will distract us all from the demise of Social Security and Medicaid...this is not going to go well

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    How does that amount of tax fraud compare with the tax fraud of businesses? Or how does that amount compare with the fraudulent tax payer rip offs by local governments? Or of the tax not paid by Charities, churches, Arts, and other 501s?

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    Oct. 22, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    Its so easy to committ this fraud. All you have to do is create ficiticious earnings on a schedule c and then report it on your 1040. Your earnings need to be in the neighborhood of $10,000.00 for the year. These types of earnings while recording a child in the household will net you the earned income tax credit and some other calculation that I beleive increases your total child tax credit. If you have 1 kid you will get about 800 dollars back. If you have 2 kids you can get double that and so on. Now many people think this should cause a rise in audits of this group but the reality is the IRS only focuses 5% of their audits ont this group which means that its the easiest way to scam the government.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    I have little faith in the IRS. They were giving out money to ITIN holders for children that were nieces and nephews who had never lived in the United States. They sent over a million dollars worth of refunds to ONE apartment unit.
    If they cannot detect those problems I have little confidence in their abilities.
    And it took five years of warnings by the IG of the IRS for changes to be made.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    Oct. 22, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    Earned income credit is for low income families with children. Low income implies low education and/or lotsa time trying to get by. And then the IRS says "honest families that have trouble figuring out how to calculate the complicated credit"

    Well, duh --- it should not be a Rube Goldberg exercise.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 1:50 p.m.

    Sadly, the many things (WIC, food stamps, subsidized housing, free lunches,etc)that were intended to be a temporary "safety net" have become a way of life for some.

    More than a few have become adept at gaming the system.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    Fraudulent payment of subsidies, refundable tax credits and other wealth redistribution schemes is nothing new. Nor is it ever acceptable.

    We should end EVERY program which recycles money from one taxpayer into cash in another's pocket. EVERY refundable tax credit, EVERY "subsidy."

    There will be enough fraud with people just being allowed to skip paying taxes below a certain income level. Not need to cut them checks as well while we are $17 Trillion in debt.

    But, we will not. And many times more will be paid to scammers and crooks in the future, even though we are bankrupt. After all, why not borrow money we don't have to give it to people who are not eligible for a program? That's life on the liberal welfare plantation.