Policy

They'll Do Anything to Goose Housing Prices, Even Hand Out Tax Credits to 1,300 Prison Inmates

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It's amazing how you can freshen up the place with a little cash

From the Associated Press:

Nearly 1,300 prison inmates wrongly received more than $9 million in tax credits for homebuyers despite being locked up when they claimed they bought a home, a government investigator reported Wednesday.

The investigator said 241 of the inmates were serving life sentences.

In all, more than 14,100 taxpayers wrongly received at least $26.7 million in tax credits that were meant to boost the nation's slumping housing markets, said the report by J. Russell George, the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration.

The AP then asserts that the report "blemishes an otherwise popular tax break that was sweetened once by President Barack Obama's economic recovery package and again when Congress extended it into the spring. The National Association of Realtors says the tax credit has generated 1 million new home sales that wouldn't have happened otherwise." Well OK then!

Best paragraph is the last:

Investigators also found 87 IRS employees who may have improperly claimed the credit, though the review was ongoing.

Reason on housing prices here.