Department of the Treasury

Saving Millions in Earned Income Payment Fraud

Claimant's earning records are relevant to disability adjudication in our office. While preparing cases for Judges, I have discovered 1,000s of cases (TX, AR, MI, OR, GA, IN, IL, LA) where claimants have filed self-employment (9K-16K), when in fact they have NEVER worked. Self-employment appears on SSA earning records. Claimants state on the record in Court that they have never worked. This is a scam across the U.S. that has enabled them to receive EIC checks of $3,050 (1 kid); $5,036 (2 kids); and $5,666 (3 kids). Although IRS self-employment fraud is not at issue before our Judges, it is questioned at hearings as to what the self-employment was. Claimants are caught off-guard because they do not think this shows up on their earning records. Self-employment also counts towards retirement benefits. If self-employment reporting requirements were stricter, the IRS could save billions in EIC checks going to people who have NEVER EARNED SELF EMPLOYMENT INCOME. 3K-6K per person (100K plus people commiting fraud) is A LOT OF GOV'T MONEY GOING OUT!

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Idea No. 18872