Comments from Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen on how the agency handles the tax returns of illegal immigrants are drawing outrage from conservative lawmakers.Of course, Federal non-enforcement of laws against illegals is an old story. How old? Well, Alien Nation was published in 1995, and in it, Peter Brimelow wrote on p. 148 that
It is the latest in a string of complaints that congressional Republicans have leveled against the agency.
The issue in this instance concerns illegal immigrants who use other people’s social security numbers (SSNs) to get jobs and then file their taxes with their IRS-issued Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs).
Although the tax returns contain false W-2 information, the IRS continues to process them, and the agency does not notify the people whose SSNs were used.Responding to questions from Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Tuesday, Koskinen said that in such cases “it’s in everybody’s interest to have them pay the taxes they owe.”
The IRS is looking to see if there is a way they can alert victims whose SSNs were used fraudulently without discouraging people from filing their taxes, he added.
The next day, at a House Small Business Committee hearing, Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) asked Koskinen about his remarks at the Senate Finance Committee hearing. Koskinen said that his agency’s responsibility is tax administration and it is not in their jurisdiction to go after people who used fraudulent SSNs to get a job.
“We have Social Security and immigration authorities and others who enforce that part of the law, and if we start looking behind the system and doing their job for them, we’re going to discourage a lot of people from paying the taxes they owe,” Koskinen said.
Brat told The Hill on Friday that he was “shocked” and “horrified” by Koskinen’s response.
Brat said he had hoped the commissioner would take a different attitude but instead “he…almost doubled-down on it and just said, ‘That’s not our job.’”
GOP blasts IRS over illegal immigrants' tax returns, By Naomi Jagoda, Politico, April 16, 2016.
But even if the American authorities were enforcing the law, they would have to deal with rampant fraud. One indicator: an INS study found that 83 percent of illegal immigrants amnestied under IRCA had false Social Security numbers. But local agencies are now essentially forbidden by confidentiality laws from reporting fraud to the INS.Speaking of checks, Koskinen's idea that the public is served by collecting taxes from illegals would make more sense of illegals, as a class were net taxpayers; that is, if they paid more in taxes than they consume in government services of all kinds.
Similarly, the Internal Revenue Service makes no effort to prevent illegal aliens from receiving Earned Income Tax Credit refunds, which are sometimes payable even if no income tax is due and can exceed two thousand dollars. Of course, the IRS computers often choke on those false Social Security numbers. If necessary the IRS will then assign a temporary number.
Got to get that check in the mail!
But they don't, another subject covered at some length in Alien Nation.