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IRS paid more than $110 billion in improper tax credits

IRS paid more than $110 billion in improper tax credits
FILE - This March 22, 2013 file photo shows the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington. A Treasury investigator says collections from delinquent taxpayers dropped for the second straight year in 2012, due in part to budget cuts at the Internal Revenue Service. In 2011, enforcement revenue dropped by more than $2 billion. Last year, it dropped by $5 billion more, to a little more than $50 billion. At the same time, a new Treasury report says the IRS is opening more delinquent taxpayer accounts than it is closing. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
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WASHINGTON (AP) - A Treasury investigator says the Internal Revenue Service has paid out more than $110 billion in tax credits over the past decade to people who didn't qualify for them.

The Earned Income Tax Credits were intended for poor working families. In a report released Tuesday, the IRS inspector general said more than one-fifth of all credits paid under the program went to people who didn't qualify.

The inspector general said the IRS is not doing enough to reduce the improper payments. The report said IRS efforts are hampered by unscrupulous tax preparers as well as honest families that have trouble calculating the complicated credit.

The EITC is one of the nation's largest anti-poverty programs. In 2011, more than 27 million families received nearly $62 billion in credits.
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