WASHINGTON (AP) — About 13.4 million taxpayers may be getting unexpected tax bills because they were awarded too much money under President Barack Obama’s Making Work Pay tax credit, a government audit said Thursday.
The tax credit, which expires Jan. 1, was designed to increase take-home pay by about $8 a week through new tax withholding tables. The credit was capped at $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples filing jointly.
However, the credit put millions of taxpayers at risk for not having enough taxes withheld from their paychecks, resulting in a tax bill when they file their returns, said the audit by J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration.
Those at risk included people with multiple jobs, married couples who both work, Social Security recipients who also work, and young workers who are also claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax returns.
“The Making Work Pay credit is a key tax credit designed to increase spending and stimulate the economy,” George said. “However, many taxpayers who are accustomed to receiving refunds when they file their tax returns may have owed taxes and incurred penalties in 2009, and may yet again in 2010, because they were advanced more of the credit than they were entitled to claim.”