‘It is now the IRS’s responsibility to ensure the proper use of verification to prevent any additional fraudulent payments…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-NY, asked the office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to release information on how many illegal immigrants received fraudulent child-refundable tax credits last year.
Zeldin cited the growing concern among Republicans that illegal aliens have been issued “billions of dollars in fraudulent overpayments” of tax credits.
He then cited a 2011 TIGTA report that estimated that $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits had been claimed by unauthorized individuals.
For years, individuals have filed child tax credit payments with their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
But an applicant can have an ITIN without having a Social Security number, Zeldin explained.
President Donald Trump’s recent tax bill made the requirements for refundable child credits stricter to ensure “only U.S. children will be able to continue utilizing this benefit,” Zeldin said.
But an inspector-general report last year found that this problem is still occurring within the Internal Revenue Service.
“Congress changed the law to correct the ACTC vulnerabilities and it is now the IRS’s responsibility to ensure the proper use of verification to prevent any additional fraudulent payments,” Zeldin wrote in a letter to the TIGTA.
The Center for Immigration Studies reported on this problem in 2010 and found that illegal immigrants often “access welfare benefits” through “state and local governments that do not verify citizenship or that accept false proof of citizenship.”
The reason the IRS allows this abuse to take place, CIS said, is because “the IRS management’s view is that the law does not provide sufficient legal authority” for the agency to limit child tax credits to those without proper Social Security identification.
The Trump administration has made more of an effort to crack down on this abuse, but in 2017, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., urged Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to be more proactive.
“Despite the administration’s prioritization of border security and calls from Republicans, Democrats, and an independent inspector general for the IRS to correct this problem, the committee learned in recent testimony that the IRS, under Commissioner John Koskinen, allows these fraudulent overpayments to persist,” Johnson said at the time.