U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez Sunday called on state officials to work with the Internal Revenue Service in an effort to curb abuse by prisoners in the state’s penal system of the tax system.
A recent report found that some 25,000 inmates in the state’s prison system had claimed more than $900,000 in improper tax refunds in 2009. Nationwide, more than $39 million was distributed improperly to inmates.
Menendez urged the state to enter into an information sharing agreement with the IRS to cut off the fraudulent refunds.
“For many New Jersey small businesses, tax time feels like prison. But to a lot of criminals, it’s more like Christmas. At a time when we’re discussing across-the-board cuts, the first thing we should do is end these inappropriate loopholes for prisoners. Let’s teach a basic lesson – crime doesn’t pay.”
To curb the problem once and for all, the IRS has proposed legislation to require all prisons in the U.S. to submit to the IRS a list of the names and Social Security numbers of all inmates serving a sentence of more than one year.