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FYI: The U.S. General Accounting Office has given its stamp of approval to the IRS’ pilot project for pre-certifying Earned Income Tax Credit recipients, but questioned the IRS’ plans for evaluating the project. The IRS says around 30 percent of EITC claims are erroneous each year, so it crafted a plan to make applicants prove their residency and relationship to the child for which they are claiming an exemption months in advance of filing. After vocal protest, the agency dropped the relationship certification. Starting next spring, however, the IRS will require applicants to prove that the kids they support have lived with them for at least half of the tax year. GAO said the agency needs to be able to evaluate whether the process actually reduces bad claims, without also reducing participation of those who qualify. [10/2/03]

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