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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 11, 2017 02:01 PM
From: Representative William C. Kortz, II
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution Urging the DOC to Enter into an MOU with the IRS to Address Fraudulent Inmate Tax Refunds (former HR 141)
In the near future, I will re-introduce legislation (former HR 141) that would urge the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in an effort to address the ongoing problem of incarcerated individuals filing fraudulent tax returns and receiving refunds.

Expanded Access to Wage and Withholding Information Can Improve Identification of Fraudulent Tax Returns, a report published in late 2010 by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), revealed that approximately 48,887 prisoners who filed tax returns had no wage information reported by employers. Despite this lack of information, these prisoners claimed refunds totaling more than $130 million, including Earned Income Tax Credit claims of $78.5 million. Given these alarming statistics, TIGTA noted that improvements must be made to more effectively identify potentially fraudulent tax returns, particularly those filed by prisoners. Specifically, the report recommended that legislation be enacted on the federal level to expand IRS access to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services wage information, but legislation has stalled.

With the continued absence of federal legislation to address this problem, I am urging the DOC to fight fraud in our penal institutions and protect taxpayer dollars by sharing information with the IRS.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important resolution.

Previous co-sponsors: Samuelson, Baker, James, Diamond, Longietti, Barrar, Cohen, Barbin, Millard, McCarter, Readshaw, Gabler, Gillen, Rozzi, Murt, McNeill, Boback, Everett, Staats, Rader, English and Bradford

Introduced as HR229