Audit Shows Plug-in Tax Credit Fraud Rampant

Obama in a Volt

In brief: An audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration shows approximately $33 million in false claims for plug-in tax credits.

The word

Obama in a Volt

The Inspector's report shows that at least 12,920 taxpayers claimed about $33 million in plug-in and alternative fuel tax credits erroneously.

The $33M accounts for about 20% of the total credits claimed from January 1 to July 24, 2010 for plug-in and alt-fuel credits ($163.9M total). Most of the false claims were due to inadequate IRS practices, according to the report, that result in non-qualifying vehicles being qualified on claims.

Many claims were for vehicles that don't qualify at all, such as Harley Davidson motorcycles and Cadillac Escalades. Some credits were even applied for by prisoners. One person even claimed a Hummer H3. The Inspector also admitted that some of the false claims were submitted by IRS employees themselves.

And so ...

Given that the credits are so loosely applied and were easily taken advantage of, it's questionable whether they should be continued.

Photo credits: Chevrolet

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