IRS Issued $5.6 Billion in Fraudulent Education Tax Credits


Bogus education tax credits issued by the IRS nearly doubled in two years, reaching $5.6 billion in 2012, according to an audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

The Associated Press reports:

The IRS issued $5.6 billion in potentially bogus education tax credits in a single year — more than a quarter of all education credits claimed by taxpayers, a government watchdog said Tuesday.

A new report by the agency's inspector general says questionable credits were issued to more than 3.6 million taxpayers in 2012. Most of them went to students even though the IRS never received a tuition statement from the school.

The report noted that tax credits of up to $2,500 a year went to schools that were not eligible to receive federal funding and to students who did not take enough classes.

The nearly $6 billion in potential fraudulent education tax credits is up from the $3.2 billion the IRS issued in 2010.

The Lifetime Learning Credit, one of the tax credits offered to students, has no limit on the number of years students can receive it, and does not require students to pursue a degree. The credit offers up to $2,000 a year.

Elizabeth Harrington   Email Elizabeth | Full Bio | RSS
Elizabeth Harrington is a senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Elizabeth graduated from Temple University. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, she worked as a staff writer for Her email address is Her Twitter handle is @LizWFB.

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