Editorial: Congress, IRS must get on same page

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Editorial: Congress, IRS must get on same page

The News-Herald – This time of year, it's fair to say many people are already looking forward to their tax return. Unfortunately, so too may be convicted criminals who fraudulently receive such returns.

Prisoners nationwide have bilked taxpayers out of $123 million in the last five years through phony tax refunds they applied for from their cells, according to four senators.

Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Charles Schumer of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Bill Nelson of Florida said the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Internal Revenue Service have failed to cooperate and comply with a 2008 law aimed at stopping the practice in federal and state prisons nationwide. Prisoners use their own names or the names of friends and associates to submit false claims to receive and cash refund checks.

"Middle-class Ohioans who work hard and play by the rules shouldn't foot the bill when convicted criminals commit tax fraud — from the very place they were locked up for committing a crime in the first place," Brown told the Associated Press.

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