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IG: IRS policy cost U.S. $4B in tax credits for illegal immigrants
An IRS policy decision made 17 years ago resulted in the agency distributing billions of dollars in refundable tax credits to illegal immigrants — including $4.2 billion in 2010 alone — according to an oversight committee for the Treasury Department.
A 2011 report unearthed by CNS News notes that much of the funding for the Additional Child Tax Credit were linked to economic stimulus enacted into law by President Obama, though the genesis for such payouts came in 1996, when the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act was signed into law.
According to the law, agencies or officials couldn't be prohibited from providing information about illegal immigrants to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), which enforces immigration law.
However, before the bill was passed, the IRS crafted a conflicting regulation, granting Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to immigrants unqualified to work in the United States or Social Security Numbers, CNS reported.
The practical effect of the legislation, since the IRS must keep tax information confidential, was that immigration enforcement agencies were not informed of individuals who in all likelihood were in the United States illegally.
An audit report in 1999 by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said "IRS management and the Office of Disclosure Litigation indicated that the IRS intentionally will not provide information to the INS. Some of the tax advantages that are being realized by illegal aliens treated as residents include receiving spousal exemptions, standard deductions, and even some erroneous earned income credits."
"This IRS policy, to 'legalize' illegal aliens, seems counter-productive to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) mission to identify illegal aliens and prevent unlawful alien entry," the report said.
The IRS has not responded to CNS' requests for comment.
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