The Daily Caller is reporting that the IRS is abolishing the mandatory expiration date for illegal aliens’ Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Previously, the number had to be renewed every 5 years and the illegal alien had to file a tax return in at least one of those years.
The rule was changed in 2013 because of widespread fraud and abuse. Now the IRS has changed it back to where it used to be?
The agency claims it needs “time to adjust and allow the IRS to reprogram its systems” and will begin to cancel ITIN’s again in 2016.
Somehow, I get the feeling that that deadline is going to magically slip.
The ITIN program is primarily used by undocumented workers to follow the law and file income taxes in the United States. Reports came out during the IRS scandal linking ITIN fraud to billions in lost taxpayer dollars. The IRS was forced to reform the ITIN program at the start of 2013 – but this new regulation undoes that reform.
“The IRS will not deactivate an ITIN that has been used on at least one tax return in the past five years,” the IRS said in an explainer of the new policy. “To give all interested parties time to adjust and allow the IRS to reprogram its systems, the IRS will not begin deactivating ITINs until 2016…The new, more uniform policy applies to any ITIN, regardless of when it was issued.”
“Developed in consultation with taxpayers, their representatives and other stakeholders, the new policy replaces the existing one that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013,” the IRS stated. “Under the old policy, announced in November 2012, ITINs issued after Jan. 1, 2013 would have automatically expired after five years, even if used properly and regularly by taxpayers.”
Republican Texas Rep. Sam Johnson grilled the acting commissioner of the IRS on ITIN fraud at a hearing as recent as June 27, 2013. (RELATED: How To Destroy A Hard Drive: IRS Edition)
“Last summer the IG issued a damning report in which it found that IRS management ‘discouraged’ IRS workers from ‘detecting fraudulent [ITIN] applications.’ The IG’s report led me to call on then-Commissioner Shulman to resign,” Johnson said to then-acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel.
“On the screen, I’ve got figure 6 from the 2012 IG report showing most frequently used addresses for ITIN tax refunds. As you can see, nearly 24,000 tax refunds totaling $46.4 million were issued to the same address in Atlanta,” Johnson said. “Bottom-line these ITINs are costing taxpayers dearly because they can be used to fraudulently get tax refunds…Look at figure 3 on the screen. Over 1,000 ITINs were assigned to individuals using the same address in Atlanta. You agree that there’s still a problem?”
“Also the IG found that IRS workers handling ITIN applications ‘remain concerned’ that management will basically pressure them to rubberstamp applications instead of ensuring that ‘only qualified individuals receive an ITIN,’” Johnson pointed out.
Absolutely remarkable. The IRS apparently doesn’t mind paying out fraudulent refunds to illegal aliens, and balks at using one of the tools the agency needs to prevent that fraud.
The concept of an ITIN isn’t a bad one. Getting illegals to pay their share of taxes is fine — especially since the government shows no interest in going after them. If they’re going to be here, they may as well contribute.
But somebody has to figure out a way to identify the frauds. Is the IRS saying their computers don’t red flag a return that features an address shared by 1000 other people? My old Tandy 1000 could probably have done that.
Is this another example of the IRS tailoring it’s policies to benefit favored constituencies? It sure looks that way, although you could probably never prove it. It’s a reminder that the entire executive branch of the government has been enlisted in President Obama’s quest to change America.