TIGTA Questions IRS's Questionable Refund ProgramWASHINGTON, D.C. - A new Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration audit has found that changes in the Internal Revenue Service's Questionable Refund Program, along with a significant technological failure, dramatically decreased the effectiveness of the program for the 2006 filing season.

Since its inception in 1977, the QRP has identified more than $4.3 billion in fraudulent refunds and prevented the issuance of over $3.6 billion in refunds. However, over the past several years, TIGTA has reported that the QRP was becoming increasingly unmanageable due to the growing number of fraudulent claims and the IRS's lack of resources to combat the fraud.

Last tax season, the IRS began notifying taxpayers when their accounts were temporarily frozen as a result of a suspicious return. However, the agency limited the length of these freezes, which also limited its ability to properly scrutinize many of these returns.

TAKING AIM AT HUMMER LOOPHOLE

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Democratic members of Congress have introduced a bill that would close a tax loophole that allows tens of thousands of dollars in tax write-offs for only the largest luxury SUVs.

The bill would fix a provision in the Tax Code that provides an additional tax incentive for the luxury market of SUVs weighing over 6,000 lbs. Originally intended to help businesses buy necessary heavy-duty work vehicles, the "Hummer Tax Loophole" has for years allowed write-offs of anywhere from $100,000 to the current figure of $25,000 for the purchase of the largest, most gas-guzzling luxury SUVs. The change would not affect legitimate business investments in trucks or vans, such as plumber and contractor trucks, farm vehicles, construction vehicles, flatbed trucks, cement mixers, and a variety of other vehicles as designated by the Internal Revenue Service.

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