Thursday, April 21, 2011
Earned Income Tax Credit Program Source Of $16.9 Billion In Improper Payments
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program was the source of $16.9 billion in improper payments in fiscal year 2010, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). (GAO-11-443R) The error rate regarding the improper payments was 26.3%. This information was contained in a March 25 letter to several members of the Senate Banking Committee that was released on April 15. In fiscal year 2009, the EITC program paid out $12.3 billion in improper payments with an error rate of 25.5%. The EITC program was ranked fourth on the list of the top 10 sources of improper payments by the federal government. Medicare fee-for-service, Medicaid, and the Unemployment Insurance program held the first three places on the list. Overall, federal agencies reported a total of $125.4 billion in improper payments in FY 2010, an amount that was $16.2 billion higher than the estimates for FY 2009. “In light of today's fiscal environment, the need to ensure that federal dollars are spent as intended is critical,” the GAO letter said. “Establishing effective accountability measures to prevent and reduce improper payments, and to recover overpayments, becomes an extremely high priority,” the letter added. It is available at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11443r.pdf.