More than $697 million a year in deductions for investment theft losses may have been erroneously claimed by taxpayers, according to a new government report, resulting in a revenue loss of over $41 million to the Treasury.

The report, by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, reviewed a sampling of tax returns filed for tax year 2008. The Internal Revenue Service estimated that more than 19,200 taxpayers filed returns for tax year 2008 claiming a total of more than $8 billion in property income casualty and theft loss deductions.

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