Unequal Burdens in EITC Compliance
38 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2011 Last revised: 28 Oct 2015
Date Written: March 8, 2012
Lower income means harsher treatment from the government for taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). EITC claimants are audited more often than any taxpayers other than the very wealthy. More concerning, however, is that the IRS audits EITC claimants by correspondence examination in a manner that unduly burdens access to this refundable tax credit, a credit that often keeps lower income workers out of poverty.
Improper payment law brings increased scrutiny to federal programs that issue erroneous payments. Because the EITC is alleged to have substantial improper payments, it is subject to federal improper payment law, which adds administrative process and burdens in hopes of diminishing erroneous payments. While other scholars have noted the relationship between improper payment law and the EITC, this article takes the unique view that improper payment law, instead of burdening EITC administration, could provide relief to the Service’s onerous EITC compliance methods.
Keywords: EITC, tax, Taxation, correspondence examinations, improper payment
JEL Classification: K1, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation