Most illegal aliens in America work “off the books” for cash, paying no federal, state, or local taxes. But at least 2.4 million illegals receive an Individual Taxpayer Identification number, which is given to immigrants not authorized to work.
You might think that the ITIN would make it easy to track down illegals and send them home. But the IRS is prevented from passing this information along to the Department of Homeland Security by law, meaning that several million illegals are using the government to hide their immigration status.
When the illegal files his tax forms, he uses the ITIN. But the W-2 form show a valid Social Security number that the illegal needed to get a job in the first place. How was an illegal alien able to obtain a valid SS number? It’s easy — if you know where to buy a fraudulent one.
A staggering 87 percent of forms filed online using ITINs showed income credited to a Social Security number. More than half of forms filed by paper also showed that same fraudulent behavior.
The IRS tries to mark the files of the fraud victims when electronic filings are used. But the tax agency misses about half of the victims, the inspector general said.
For paper forms, the IRS did even worse, the audit found.
The tax agency, in its official reply to the report, insisted it takes identity theft “very seriously.”
Kenneth C. Corbin, commissioner of the IRS’s wage and investment division, said it has just completed a pilot program to figure out how to notify taxpayers they’re the victims of fraud.
But he said in most of the cases they’re missing right now, the Social Security number given is for someone who doesn’t have a tax account on their system. He said they can’t create a notification for someone who’s not in their files, and said because of privacy concerns they won’t just send a notification to the addresses listed.
He also said there are cases where someone knowingly loaned out their Social Security to an unauthorized worker, and thus wasn’t properly a victim but a conspirator.
The IRS agreed to some of the inspector general’s recommendations but refused others. Mr. Corbin said the IRS would do what it could, but pleaded poverty, saying the agency has “limited resources.”
“We cannot commit to additional actions that would require significant resources to accomplish,” he wrote.
An audit by the IRS inspector general found that at least 1.4 million of those illegal alien taxpayers use fraudulent Social Security numbers. That the IRS actually refuses to do anything about it — and Congress refuses to change the law to allow the tax agency to communicate with DHS to tell them where the illegals are — is a travesty. How many Americans have their lives ruined by identity theft? And the IRS refuses to do anything about the fraud, much less inform the taxpayer their number is being fraudulently used?
This is a situation that cries out for reform.