The Internal Revenue Service issued more than $46 million in erroneous tax refunds due to a computer glitch and ineffective monitoring, issues that left uncorrected could cost taxpayers up to $230 million over the next five years.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released an audit Monday faulting the IRS for approving thousands of potentially fraudulent tax refunds in 2013.
“TIGTA identified that because of a programming error, over $27 million of refunds were erroneously issued for 13,043 Tax Year 2013 tax returns,” the audit said. “The programming error is overriding the IRS’s two-week processing delay on some refund tax returns that are identified by the IRS as potentially fraudulent.”
The audit said the returns were flagged for claiming a “questionable tax credit” but were then automatically issued before the IRS could complete its verification process.
In addition, the audit identified 3,910 “potentially fraudulent” tax returns that were issued due to ineffective monitoring, totaling $19 million.