WASHINGTON – Nearly 50,000 prison inmates claimed more than $130 million in tax refunds this year without providing any wage information to the IRS, a government investigator says in a report to be released today.

The Treasury inspector general for tax administration stops short of saying the refunds were fraudulently claimed. It does, however, say the Internal Revenue Service should investigate further.

The report is the latest in a series of audits looking at prison inmates claiming tax credits and other government payments. It notes that the IRS identified nearly 250,000 fraudulent tax returns during the 2010 filing season — a 50 percent increase over 2009 — preventing $1.48 billion in fraudulent refunds.