IRS Delay Stops $863M in Potential Fraudulent Refunds
WESLACO – A new move from the IRS that delayed refunds for tens of thousands of taxpayers was found to be effective.
Anyone who used the earned income tax credit (EITC) or the additional child tax credit (ACTC) when they filed their taxes had their refund delayed. The IRS said the goal was to fight people from filing fraudulent returns.
The Government Accountability Office reported $863 million of potentially fraudulent refunds were discovered.
Tax professional Alejandro Bermudez said many of his clients arrived at his office to file, only to learn their refund might be delayed.
“I think it put a lot of people, just sort of, on edge,” he said.
The move by the IRS also impacted tax professionals like Bermudez.
“We make our money when our clients get paid. So, for our business it was very difficult,” he said. “We had to take measure to make sure that we had enough money to pay our people, pay our employees, rent, etc.”
Despite the results, the IRS said hundreds of thousands of people still have not sent in their tax refunds.
“File your taxes. I mean, it’s pretty simple. There’s no reason to delay it,” Bermudez said.
The GAO also noted the IRS is getting better at helping taxpayers who have questions. The agency’s waiting times have reportedly decreased from years past.
The IRS also reportedly reduced the amount of late mail correspondence, which is the agency’s primary form of outgoing communication.
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