By Dr. Harold Pease
An atomic bomb like story dropped April 27, when Channel 13 Eyewitness News, an NBC affiliate in Indiana opened with “Millions of illegal immigrants are getting a bigger tax refund than you. Eyewitness News shows a massive tax loophole that provides billions of dollars in tax credits to undocumented workers and, in many cases, people who have never stepped foot in the United States. And you are paying for it!” Bob Segall, narrator of the news segment 13 Investigates, begins with the disclosure of a longtime tax consultant, who produced thousands of tax returns easily documenting his claims, from illegal immigrants.
Everyone employed in the U.S. is required to pay taxes. Because illegal immigrants do not possess a social security number the IRS gives them an individual taxpayer identification number, or ITIN. The tax loophole deals with the Additional Child Tax Credit “meant to help U.S. working families who have children living at home” by giving them a credit of up to $1000 per child. The problem is that illegal immigrants have learned that they too can claim this and are doing so for kids in Mexico who have never lived here—lots of them. The whistle blower showed the television station refunds of $10,300 for nieces and nephews of one filer, yet another $11,000 for his nieces and nephews. “I can bring out stacks and stacks,” the tax consultant said.
Eyewitness News selected one of the cases and found multiple adult illegals even using the same filing address. “One of the workers, who was interviewed at his home in southern Indiana, admitted his address was used this year to file tax returns by four other undocumented workers who don’t even live there. Those four workers claimed 20 children live inside the one residence and, as a result, the IRS sent the illegal immigrants tax refunds totaling $29,608.” The reporters found only one child actually living in the mobile home. When they asked were the others were they were told that they live in Mexico. In fact, they had never lived here. An interview of other illegals revealed that both, filing under false address and listing children who had never been in the U.S., was not uncommon.
The reporters next interviewed Russell George, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Inspector General for Tax Administration and learned that “the IRS has known about the problem for years,” that he himself has repeatedly warned them and still they have done nothing about it. Last year the Inspector General “released a new report showing the problem now costs American tax-payers more than $4.2 billion.” He added, “Millions of people are seeking this tax credit who, we believe, are not entitled to it.” How big is the problem? The Inspector General continued, “undocumented workers filed 3.02 million tax returns in 2010. Seventy-two percent of those returns (2.18 million) claimed the additional child tax credit.” And then he added another bombshell. “In 2010, the IRS owed undocumented workers more in claimed additional child tax credits than it collected from those workers in taxes.” You might want to read that last sentence again.
The reporters were rebuffed at every attempt to interview the IRS. “Despite repeated phone calls, e-mails and a visit to IRS headquarters in Washington, the agency said none of its 100,000 employees had time to meet.” Finally, in an email the IRS did admit that this practice was known to them for over a decade but that they were only following the law “as it is written.”
This explanation did not satisfy the tax consultant either, who said that he repeatedly informed the IRS of other discretions practiced as well, such as the filing of “phony documents and false income to claim tax credits.” They did not care about that either. “These were fraudulent, 100% fraudulent tax returns, but I got no response; absolutely none. We never heard a thing.”
Obviously the IRS does not care and is an accomplice in fraud to the tune of $4.2 billion a year. The next question is does Congress care enough to investigate, and reign in its unruly 1913 creation, or is it corrupt as well? Why not ask your congressman if he will take the lead in this investigation.
Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.