• Feb 4th 2011 at 6:28PM
  • 35
Is a bicycle an electric vehicle? How about a Hummer H3? These are some of the things that Americans claimed were hybrids, alternative-powered or plug-in electric vehicles on their tax forms, reports USA Today. What's more, the false claimants managed to get $33 million back from the federal government. According to the daily, $33 million is about 20 percent of the $163.9 million total that has been claimed under the tax credit programs so far.

The information comes from a new report, published by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (read the full report in PDF), which found that the problem lies with the IRS, which apparently doesn't have the "adequate procedures" required to ferret out which claims qualify and which don't. The IRS responded by saying it, "has already implemented measures to address some of the problems highlighted in the report." Okay, that's all somewhat understandable, but a getting money back for a bicycle? We love bikes, seriously, but we're pretty sure that they're not cars...

[Source: USA Today | Image: General Motors]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is absolutely a pittance compared to how much of our money that they do collect, and then absolutely waste, or use for corruption.

      But hey... now the IRS is going to be in charge of people's healthcare, too. I wonder how many people will pass away while on a waiting list while the IRS "doesn't have adequate procedures" to handle the work.

      If they can't tell that a bike is not a car, or that an H3 isn't an electric vehicle... how are they going to be able to tell who needs what medical services, when they are inserted between you and your doctor.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, how many commenters are actually willing to blame the idiots who broke the law and tried to commit tax fraud? The IRS or 'gub'ment' didn't make them break the law.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now I'll say I'm ignorant on how the tax credit works in this case but I imagined that upon buying a qualifying car you'd be given a voucher of some sort with I dunno say a long list of digits akin to a serial number. The IRS has a matching list and only one can be used ever. Kind of like oh I dunno... like how some pay as you go credit cards work or how online coupons or any numerous other things work. I'm pretty sure if they could create the system for the PIN they can create a similar system for instance's like this.

      Now onto the dumbasses trying to scam the government with this. Would be nice to see the government either take 'em to court or garnish their wages. Its part of my money after all they are scamming!
      • 4 Years Ago
      So are the people who made the claims being punished in some way?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I sort of hate that people take advantage of programs like this.

      if we can't get $$$ back from these liars
      maybe we can publish their names and out them
      as the liars/thieves that they are.

      it seems crazy that the program
      allowed so much money to go to people
      that should not have gotten it.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Our illustrious federal government in action.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Further proof the Federal Government can't do anything right, has no clue how to spend and track our money, and is incompetent when it comes to choosing what's right for America.

      As for those who took advantage of the program, they should be fined twice what they received and those funds should go to federal deficit (which is a drop in the bucket of course, but I'm sick of our elected officials spending more than we take in).
      • 4 Years Ago
      Gov't incompetence at its finest. I would suggest replacing the income tax system with a VAT/sales tax, eliminating most of the IRS, AND allow tax 'credits' be applied @ sales time, but there would be risk in that as well (idiotic/corrupt controllers of the sales tax programs). Were there consequences for these screw-ups, then maybe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      @caddy-v, don't believe everything you read in a chain email. Usually, and indeed in this case, it's a bunch of BS.


      Getting back on topic, I'm not surprised to learn about this. The IRS doesn't do nearly enough to verify what people claim on their taxes. When I applied for my home energy credit (a legitimate claim), I was shocked to learn they didn't request ANY proof whatsoever. I almost HOPE I'm audited just so I'll feel better about the whole process.
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