Sunday, May 06, 2012

Tax fraud at it's finest.

Swamprat sent this in to me a little bit ago. You can find the entire story HERE

INDIANAPOLIS - Congressman Dan Burton (R – Ind) is frustrated – very frustrated – after learning the details of an Eyewitness News investigation.
"Why in the world are we doing this?" he asked. "Are you kidding me? The cost to the American tax payer is huge!"
The veteran lawmaker is responding to what 13 Investigates discovered all across Indiana: illegal immigrants getting big tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service thanks to a loophole in federal law.
The loophole allows undocumented workers to collect what's called an additional child tax credit. The credit – up to $1,000 per child – can be claimed even by families who pay nothing in taxes, in many cases resulting in a cash payment from the IRS. It is intended for working families with children who live in the same home.
But a local tax preparer came to Eyewitness News to blow the whistle on millions of people who, he believes, are taking advantage of the system. He says many illegal immigrants are claiming the tax credit for children who've never lived in this country, and he showed 13 Investigates dozens of redacted tax returns to prove his point.
"There is not a doubt in my mind there is huge fraud taking place here," said the whistleblower, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal. "I can bring out stacks and stacks. It's just so easy it's ridiculous."

Exposing the loophole
An undocumented worker in southern Indiana told 13 Investigates just how easy it truly is.
He said four other illegal immigrants file tax returns using his address, even though none of them actually lives there. And he said this year, those four workers filed tax returns claiming 20 children live inside his small trailer home. As a result, the IRS sent the illegal immigrants tax refunds totaling more than $29,000.
But none of the 20 children listed as dependents on the tax returns lives in Indiana – or even in the United States.
"No, they don't live here," admitted the undocumented worker, who lives with his young daughter. "The other kids are in their country of origin, which is Mexico."
The IRS granted tax credits for the 20 children anyway, even though the agency's own policy states they are not eligible. (Children are eligible for additional child tax credits only if they are US citizens or minor resident aliens who live in the US with a tax filer for more than half of a calendar year.)

And here's the statement that the fucking IRS sent to WTHR when they decided to reply:

Full statement to WTHR from the Internal Revenue Service:
The law has been clear for over a decade that eligibility for these credits does not depend on work authorization status or the type of taxpayer identification number used. Any suggestion that the IRS shouldn't be paying out these credits under current law to ITIN holders is simply incorrect. The IRS administers the law impartially and applies it as it is written. If the law were changed, the IRS would change its programs accordingly. The IRS disagrees with TIGTA's recommendation on requiring additional documentation to verify child credit claims. As TIGTA acknowledges in this report, the IRS does not currently have the legal authority to verify and disallow the Child Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit during return processing simply because of the lack of documentation. The IRS has procedures in place specifically for the evaluation of questionable credit claims early in the processing stream and prior to issuance of a refund. The IRS continues to work to refine and improve our processes.