An Internal Revenue Service program designed to prevent fraud costs taxpayers roughly $18.2 million per year, but doesn’t work, according to the taxpayer watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste.
In 1994, in an attempt to catch fraudulent tax returns, the IRS created the Electronic Fraud Detection System. In 2009, the IRS began to modernize this system by working on the Return Review Program to replace it.
“Despite the recognized need to get the [Return Review Program] in place in a timely manner, the program is still in development, and is now estimated to be completed in 2022,” the watchdog group explains. “The program is also ineffective.”
In 2015, the inspector general found that the program missed 54,175 fraudulent returns that totaled $313 million. Additionally, the Government Accountability Office found that the program incurred cost overruns and surpassed its initial budget by $86.5 million.
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