Millions of dollars have been wrongfully issued to consumers claiming a tax credit for a plug-in electric vehicle, according to a new report from the U.S. Treasury Inspector General. They were able to grab up to $7,500 from the federal government starting in 2009 as a way to get people to start adopting electric cars. Instead, it seems the program encouraged people to steal.
In the report, it states $1.4 billion in credits have been issued to Americans in the past decade. Out of those, up to $74 million was possibly wrongfully given because the cars that were claimed don’t actually qualify for the tax credit. Those claims were submitted by 16,510 people. In other words, these people possibly engaged in tax evasion, a big no-no.
Part of the problem is the IRS doesn’t verify VINs for these credits, but maybe it should start. That would easily nab the alleged 1,509 people who double-claimed the credit for the exact same car, costing the government $8 million.
For other cases, people claimed a higher tax credit than allowable for the specific vehicle they purchased. Hey, with the IRS not checking up on these things, some dishonest folks will do whatever they please.
The report specifically singles out GM and Tesla owners for continuing to claim the tax credits even after the two automakers’ vehicles no longer qualified for them.
Read the report yourself here.