Your Tax Dollars Wasted: Fraud Now Government’s Sixth-Largest Expenditure

Capitol Hill

U.S. taxpayers lose up to $521 billion a year to fraud across the federal government, according to a first-of-its-kind estimate.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated annual fraud costs taxpayers between $233 billion and $521 billion annually, according to a new report published Tuesday.

The fraud estimate’s range represents 3% to 7% of average federal obligations. The estimate was based on data from fiscal years 2018 through 2022. The government obligated almost $40 trillion from fiscal years 2018 through 2022, but had no reliable estimates of fraud losses.