Just before tax day rolls around each year, the IRS releases stories of indictments for tax evasion and fraud in order to scare taxpayers straight. When the news covers the stories, more often than not the IRA knows most citizens will think twice about attempting to lie to the service.
The result is that we think a little more about the deductions we claim, as well as the amount of income we state. With the possibility of perjury over our heads, we make sure our ducks are in a row before signing off on our tax returns.
However, the current story going around will do little to cause that fear—being the revealing nature involved. The top dogs at the IRS, as well as the IRS Commissioner himself, seem to be acknowledging there may be a problem with illegal immigrants in our country.
This time around the IRS official isn’t trying to target wiped hard drives or deleted emails, he wasn’t even asking for larger bonuses to give to his IRS agents.
What he is talking about this time is even worse than all that—the turning of a blind eye to illegal immigrants. In a stunning statement by the IRS Commissioner at a Senate Finance Committee meeting, John Koskinen blatantly admitted that the IRS wanted illegal immigrants to use stolen social security numbers.
So the question is—is the IRS collaborating with the illegal filing of fraudulent tax returns?
The answer depends on whose interpretation you choose to believe. If you were to understand the reply by Koskinen in the manner that Senator Dan Coats did, then it would mean that the IRS continues to process tax returns that contain false W-2 information, and then proceed to issue refunds based on that information.
It would also mean that the IRS would be ignoring notifications from the Social Security Administration when they are notified of the fraudulent use of the same number.
When asked about how the IRS justifies such actions, Commissioner Koskinen stated that as long as the fraudulent number isn’t used to obtain employment, the IRS is okay with it. He went on to say that the IRS actually had a hand in helping the immigrants cheat the system.
As law, undocumented citizens are not supposed to be able to acquire legitimate Social Security numbers. They have a workaround, if necessary in that they can file taxes with an Employee Identification Number, and although they can not receive an Earned Income Tax Credit, they can file the additional child tax credit.
Should a new method of checks and balances be put into place for just this type of situation?