TIGTA Seal graphic

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


October 28, 2010
TIGTA - 2010-69
Contact: Karen Kraushaar
(202) 622-6500
karen.kraushaar@tigta.treas.gov
TIGTA-PAO@tigta.treas.gov

2010 Filing Season: Verifying Benefits Was A Challenge, TIGTA Finds

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) timely processed individual tax returns during the 2010 Filing Season, but implementing some new tax provisions presented challenges, according to a report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

Each year the income tax filing season, from January 1 through April 15, is critical for the IRS for it is when most individuals file their income tax returns and contact the IRS with questions about specific tax laws or filing procedures.

While the IRS received about 132 million individual income tax returns and issued approximately 101 million refunds totaling $291.7 billion through May 28, 2010, those returns contained nearly 23.7 million errors, an increase of 7.1 percent over the same period last year. TIGTA identified inadequate controls and incomplete and inaccurate programming resulting in 125,762 individuals receiving nearly $111.4 million in erroneous Recovery Act-related tax benefits, including:

TIGTA also identified 2,933 individuals with more than $95.8 million in Qualified Motor Vehicle Tax deductions on individual income tax returns (Form 1040, Schedule A) that exceeded the dollar amount the IRS uses to identify a potentially erroneous claim. The IRS has not developed a process to identify these potentially erroneous claims on Schedule A.

“During the 2010 Filing Season, the IRS timely processed individual income tax returns and issued refunds on schedule,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “However, while the IRS did a good job overall, improvements are needed to prevent erroneous claims for credits and deductions.”

TIGTA made five recommendations to the IRS in its report. The IRS agreed to the recommendations and is taking action.

To view the report, including the scope and methodology, and full IRS response, go to: http//:www.treas.gov/tigta/auditreports/2010reports/201041128fr.pdf.

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