Stats on Cheating
Any time there is a recession or a down economy, it appears many of us look for ways to get more money back from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at tax time. According to an article by GA Ellijan on Tax Attorney Jeff Fout’s website, fraudulent returns are on the rise. In 2010, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)—the organization monitoring the IRS—says cheating rose a whopping 181 percent.
I must say here, cheating on taxes is not new but as the money urgency rises for most Americans, why shouldn’t people trick the IRS here and there?
Yes, it’s illegal and there are some ethical and moral issues here, but getting a few more bucks from Uncle Sam via cheating is not the real concern to most. It’s finding a way to keep a home, buy food or the transportation they need to get back and forth to and from work—if they even have a job.
According to Ellijan, most people cheat by taking advantage of credits and exemptions they don’t qualify for such as the Earned Income Credit, claiming invisible kids or if they feel too honest to lie about no kids, they adopt some for the extra cash. First time buyer home credits are also abused and lastly specific hybrid gas credits such as the one for the totally electric plug-in Toyota Prius is too easy to claim even if the taxpayer bought they gas/electric hybrid instead. I mean, who’s gonna check?
Then there are those who work as independent contractors and figure if they don’t attach a 1099 or two, the IRS won’t notice. Guess what folks? The organizations issuing the 1099s do send them in so if you do this, you will be caught. Not sure if the IRS has a copy of a 1099 or W-2 wage statement? Call them and wait and wait and wait on hold, but they can tell you what’s been received under your social security number; the phone is appropriately 1-800-IRS-1040.