Saturday, February 05, 2011

Feds End Prisoners' Bogus Tax Refunds

A new agreement has finally been reached aiming to stop federal inmates from claiming millions of dollars in bogus tax refunds.

From the Associated Press:

    Pressure from U.S. senators in New York, Ohio, Minnesota and Florida in January led to an agreement signed Wednesday between the Internal Revenue Service and the federal Bureau of Prisons to break down bureaucratic and regulatory barriers to end the practice. The memorandum of understanding struck between the two agencies overcomes legal obstacles that hindered their own efforts and paves the way for states to make similar agreements that apply to their prisons.

    "The impasse needed to end, and today it's over," Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said Wednesday, adding that the agencies responded quickly. "This agreement means that prisoners will no longer be able to bilk taxpayers out of millions of dollars."

    Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said the agreement effectively cuts through unnecessary red tape to "stop felons from scamming the system."

    "It's shocking that inmates are ripping off the taxpayers right under the government's nose," said Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida.

    Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said the case shows "government agencies need to work together to prevent tax fraud wherever it occurs, but especially when we're being bilked from behind bars."

    The senators pushed the agencies to cooperate after a federal audit showed the practice continued, despite a 2008 law aimed at stopping it.

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