A congressional crackdown on illegal immigrants getting checks from the IRS has some cracks in it.
The proposed legislation doesn’t stop illegals from obtaining Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers and receiving more $1,000 child tax-credit checks.
Last year, those “illegal” payouts totaled more than $4.2 billion, Watchdog.org reported.
“Instead of aiding and abetting fraud, the IRS needs to prevent fraud from happening in the first place,” the lawmakers said.
H.R. 4078 would require first-time ITIN applicants appear in person at a Taxpayer Assistance Center or diplomatic consulate. Currently, applicants can apply by mail or through a third party.
Individuals seeking an ITIN must provide original documentation establishing their identity and foreign status. The bill does not disqualify illegals, however.
New ITINs will have a five-year time limit with an option to renew. Existing ITINs get a three-year limit with a renewal option.
The Joint Committee on Taxation projects that the Johnson-Cornyn bill could net $7.6 billion in new savings. Critics say that’s a stretch.
When Congress passed the child-tax credit, it did not specify legal residency as a requirement. Lawmakers assumed that Social Security numbers — held by legal residents — would be used by tax filers.
Then ITIN use exploded, and so did the refunds.
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