IRS Audits You for Mistakes but Loses $5.6 Billion in “Stimulus”

How is it that the IRS audits us but gets away with misspending billions of dollars?

What’s wrong with this picture?

The IRS can throw away $5.6-billion—BILLION—and no one gets punished; no one loses his job; no one suffers loss from her pension. Everyone gets a free pass! “Oops. Sorry.”

(The only thing they lose is their emails when they’re under investigation!!)

Here is the Washington Times headline: “IRS wasted $5.6B on bogus Obama stimulus tax credits: Audit.”

The IRS doled out more than $5 billion in potentially bogus college aid payments under an Obama stimulus tax credit in 2012, according to a new report Tuesday from the agency’s inspector general that said the administration still doesn’t have a good handle on how to root out erroneous claims.

More than 3.8 million students received more than $5.6 billion in questionable tax credits, the audit found — more than half of those never filed their tuition statement, while others were paid tax credits even though the schools they attended weren’t acceptable institutions.

Still other students claimed the credit for more than four years.

“The IRS still does not have effective processes to identify erroneous claims for education credits,” said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, who said he’s repeatedly warned the IRS about the problem but “many of the deficiencies TIGTA previously identified still exist.”

Many of the problems, however, lie with Congress, which needs to grant the IRS new powers to check students’ claims against other government databases, Mr. George said.

The tax break at issue is known as the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which was a creation of President Obama’s 2009 stimulus. It was slated to expire in 2010, but Mr. Obama and Congress have extended it through 2017.

But… God help the honest, hard-working citizen who makes a simple error filing his taxes—punitive fines, emptied bank accounts, Gestapo raids… And don’t forget your Obamacare penalty… er… tax… um… fine. Whatever!!

[See also, “IRS Took Funds Away from Customer Service.”]

One more time: Shut down the IRS. Pull the plug. Fire every one of them. Hey, in this one case it would have saved the country $5.6-billion.