APRIL 17, 2009
The Internal Revenue Service has allowed more than one million foreigners—many in the U.S. illegally—to improperly claim tax credits that they don’t qualify for and it will end up costing the government close to $9 billion.
The best part is that the IRS knowingly permitted the exorbitant tax credits even though workers did not provide valid Social Security numbers on their returns, but rather the alternative Tax Identification Number (TIN) popular among illegal immigrants but not valid to work in the U.S.
Furthermore, the IRS allows companies that employ foreigners to file taxes using TINs—rather than the required Social Security—even though the law forbids it. A lengthy report, made public this week by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, lays out the gory details of how the tax agency’s negligence rewards law breakers and deprives the nation of crucial funds.
In one year alone, the IRS allowed nearly 300,000 U.S. companies to illegally report wages—of employees without valid Social Security numbers—totaling $9.5 billion. This in turn led the government to issue nearly $2 billion in illegal child tax credits to ineligible foreigners, many of them illegal aliens not authorized to earn wages in the U.S.
The inspector general points out that this creates an obvious problem since the payment of federal funds through this tax benefit provides an additional incentive for aliens to enter, reside and work in the U.S. without authorization, which contradicts federal law and policy to remove such incentives.
The IRS has for years accommodated illegal immigrants, by creating the special TINs for foreigners about a decade ago and subsequently allowing millions to illegally file income taxes with the special numbers. For years the tax agency has looked the other way even after discovering millions of W-2 forms with names that don’t match a Social Security number.
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