Audit: IRS work on fraud needs improvement


George’s office added that, between 2010 and 2012, fraud referrals to the IRS led to more than $66 million in tax assessment.

ADVERTISEMENT
But according to the inspector general, more efficient screening processes could boost the agency’s fraud efforts. The inspector general recommended several ways to increase efficiency, including increased oversight over the work of screeners, all of which were agreed to by the IRS.

Steven Miller, the acting IRS commissioner, has said that his agency is shifting more resources into battling fraud, telling the Senate Finance Committee this week that the IRS stopped some $20 billion in fraud last year.

The White House’s latest budget framework also included new proposals meant to battle fraud, and senators introduced bipartisan legislation recently that aims to make it harder to steal someone’s identity for tax purposes.

But at this week’s hearing, Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the panel’s ranking member, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), also stressed that the IRS and the federal government needed to boost their efforts.

“There is still much more that can be done,” Baucus said.

“We know tax fraudsters have easy access to taxpayers' Social Security numbers through online databases, hospitals and other businesses that store personal information. We need tougher controls on access to private information, but it needs to be done efficiently without adding more paperwork to the process.”