An astounding 1.2 million illegal immigrants filed US federal tax returns from 2011-2016 using fake Social Security numbers or Social Security numbers belonging to legal US citizens.
What did the government do about it? Nothing! which is why another 1.2 million illegals also filed tax returns using bogus Social Security numbers in 2017.
However, in response to inquiries from CNSNews.com, the IRS could not say if it had referred even one of these cases for criminal prosecution.
TIGTA, which is the inspector general responsible for overseeing the IRS, discovered another approximately 1.2 million cases in 2017 in which an illegal alien working in the United States had filed a tax return reporting wages that had been earned using a Social Security Number that belonged to someone else or was fabricated.
Yet the IRS also could not say whether it referred any of these cases for criminal prosecution.
(To see the questions CNSNews.com asked the IRS, TIGTA and the Justice Department about these cases and the agencies’ responses to those questions click here.)
‘Shall Be Guilty of a Felony’
Using a stolen or fake Social Security Number is a felony.
The IRS knows this! These illegals have addresses that they list right on the tax return. ICE could round them up easily. Yet, as the problem becomes worse, our government is doing nothing as the IRS is not alerting immigration officials to the crimes they are seeing be committed by such massive numbers every year.
No wonder illegal immigrants aren’t afraid of our government and believe it is a joke. They are right! It is a joke.
“The Social Security Act,” TIGTA has noted, “provides that whoever, with the intent to deceive, falsely represents a number to be his or her SSN when, in fact, that number was not assigned to that person, shall be guilty of a felony and subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both. This includes using a false SSN to obtain employment.”
When processing individual tax returns, according to reports filed by TIGTA, the IRS ordinarily encounters two types of identity theft. One involves what TIGTA calls “refund fraud” and the other involves “employment-related fraud.”
In an August 10, 2016 report (“Processes Are Not Sufficient to Assist Victims of Employment-Related Identity Theft”), TIGTA published this graphic explaining the difference between “refund fraud” and “employment-related fraud:”
In cases of refund fraud, the “identity thief” uses another person’s Social Security Number and personal identification information “to file a fraudulent tax return, reporting fictitious wages and withholdings and obtains a tax refund.”
“Cases of employment identity theft identified by the Internal Revenue Service usually involve an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) filer who used the Social Security Number of another individual, i.e. victim, to gain employment,” TIGTA said in a report released in February.
“Employment identity theft can cause a significant burden to innocent taxpayers, including the incorrect computation of taxes based on income that does not belong to them,” said the report.
The approximately 1.3 million cases of employment-related identity theft documented and recorded by the IRS in 2011 through 2016, involved foreign nationals whom the IRS had given Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs).
So, too, did the approximately 1.2 million cases of illegal aliens using Social Security Numbers that belonged to someone else or had been fabricated that TIGTA discovered in 2017.
The numbers of these cases were cited in the TIGTA report released last month. It was entitled, “Most Employment Identity Theft Victims Have Not Been Notified That Their Identities Are Being Used by Others for Employment.”
In the approximately 1.3 million cases, TIGTA said the IRS had placed a “marker” on the accounts of taxpayers whose identities the IRS believed had been stolen. In the approximately 1.2 million cases, TIGTA itself discovered the misuse of Social Security Numbers by ITIN holders by reviewing IRS records.
“The IRS placed the employment identity theft marker on 1,346,485 taxpayer accounts between PY [processing years] 2011 and 2016 through the e-file ITIN/SSN mismatch process,” said the TIGTA report.
The IRS’s ITIN/SSN mismatch process showed which electronically filed tax returns had been filed by ITIN holders but had a W-2 showing wages earned with a Social Security Number.
TIGTA further reported that in analyzing IRS data for processing year (PY) 2017 it had “[i]dentified 1,227,579 tax returns…in which the ITIN does not match the SSN on the Form W-2.”
In response to questions from CNSNews.com, TIGTA said that in these 1,227,579 cases “over 1 million valid” SSNs issued by the Social Security Administration were used by ITIN holders. In the remainder of the cases, the ITIN holders used fabricated SSNs.
The IRS first began issuing ITINs in 1996. The purported purpose was to give foreign nationals who have a tax liability inside the United States an identification number to use when filing tax returns. To qualify for an ITIN, an individual must be a foreign national and must not be eligible to receive a Social Security Number.
So, who gets an ITIN? The chief counsel of the IRS determined that the foreign nationals living inside the United States who qualify for an ITIN—because they are not eligible for a Social Security Number—are in fact illegal aliens.
A Policy to “‘Legalize’ Illegal Aliens”
A January 2004 TIGTA report said: “The IRS Office of Chief Counsel determined that, ‘the group of persons with United States federal tax obligations who are not eligible to obtain an SSN is limited to non-citizens who either do not reside in the United States or reside here illegally.”
In 1999, TIGTA released a report warning that with its ITIN program the IRS had embraced a policy to “‘legalize’ illegal aliens” that “increases the potential for fraud.”
Let me get this straight. The IRS is taking it upon themselves to legalize illegal aliens by issuing ITINs to illegal immigrants using fake Social Security numbers or stealing a valid citizen’s Social Security number in order to file a tax return, likely receiving a nice, fat tax refund? So, they have broken the law twice, once by entering the country and a second time by stealing a Social Security number in order to work.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers (Photo/ICE)
In a follow-up report in 2004, TIGTA concluded that ITIN holders who filed tax returns using a Social Security Number were in fact illegal aliens.
“Our conclusion is that, generally, the individuals who file a United States (U.S.) Individual Income Tax Return (Form 1040) with an ITIN as the identification number and receive wages that are identified with a Social Security Number (SSN) on the attached Wage and Tax Statements (Form W-2) are unauthorized resident aliens,” said TIGTA.
Then-Deputy IRS Commissioner Mark Matthews responded to this TIGTA report by conceding that ITIN holders who filed tax returns reporting wages earned in the United States were likely to be illegal aliens and that if they used a SSN it was “stolen or fabricated.”
“The Service has concluded that most resident aliens who hold ITINs and who report and pay tax from wage income are not legally employed in the United States,” he told TIGTA in a memo. “This is because such a taxpayer would have a valid SSN if the holder were legally employed in the United States, making procurement of an ITIN unnecessary and duplicative.”
“In addition,” said the deputy IRS commissioner’s memo, “the Service believes that most ITIN holders whose wages are reflected on valid Forms W-2 furnished to the Service are using stolen or fabricated SSNs, because employers are prohibited from employing individuals who lack an SSN and employers use the SSN provided by such employees in reporting Form W-2 information.”