More improper government payments were made in 2014 than they were in any other year.
Irvine, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/14/2015 --Improper payments—or payments made to families and individuals who don't actually qualify for them—are made by the federal government every year. In 2014, though, the federal government set an all-time record high for improper payments, totally in at $124.7 billion, resulting in a $19 billion increase from the previous year.
Where the Errors Were Made
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the errors occurred in 124 different programs over 22 agencies. However, three programs in particular stood out as the most egregious error-makers: the Department of Health and Human Services' Medicare Fee-for Service program, The Department of Health and Human Services' Medicaid programs, and the Department of the Treasury's Earned Income Tax Credit Program.
The GAO states that these three programs alone accounted for $80.9 billion in improper payments, or 65 percent of the total improper payment amounts made by the government for the fiscal year 2014. The mistakes were most often in regard to tax breaks to non-qualifying families, payments for unnecessary medical procedures, and improperly paid unemployment benefits. Fraud, underpayments, overpayments, and payments made sans proper documentation were all reported.
Committee Meeting Held on How to Reduce Improper Payments
Senator Ron Johnson, a republican from Wisconsin, was quoted by the Huffington Post as saying that the improper government payments were most frustrating as the money was not spent "on securing our borders, on national defense, and it was not spent on contributing to a safety net for those in need." Johnson also stated that the problem was worsening, and had no hopes of improvement without action being taken. As such, a committee meeting was held on Monday March 15, 2015 to address the problem, and the Obama administration has stated that reducing improper payments is a top priority for the executive. In fact, Obama's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes the implementation of programs designed to reduce fraud and abuse in Medicaid, Medicare, and in regards to tax fraud.
Reducing Tax and Payment Errors on a Personal Level
With errors being made on the part of the federal government in regards to improper spending and tax law, and with the prevalence of a number of loopholes in the tax code, effective business and estate planning is essential. Find helpful information about business and estate planning here: http://jgltaxlaw.com/planning.html. To ensure that a business is operating within the law and that errors as serious as the federal government's aren't made, a business and estate planning attorney can help. Reducing tax and payment errors on a personal level is key for avoiding harsh penalties and assuring optimal financial growth.