The Internal Revenue Service paid more than $13 billion in tax credits last year to people who may not have qualified, a government investigator said Tuesday.
The Earned Income Tax Credits were supposed to go to low-income working families.
The agency’s inspector general issued a report Tuesday saying the improper payments were between $13.3 billion and $15.6 billion. That’s about a quarter of all EITC payments.
“The IRS can and must do more to protect taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud and abuse,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration.
The IRS said it is aggressively fighting tax fraud, and is improving its efforts to police EITC payments. The agency said it has stopped nearly 15 million suspicious returns since 2011, blocking more than $50 billion in fraudulent refunds.