The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds to a single Atlanta address for a total of $46,378,040 in 2011 — and each of the refunds averaging over $1,900 went to undocumented immigrants, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
Although that single Atlanta address was perhaps the most egregious example, it was by no means the only one. As it turns out, “four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to ‘unauthorized’ aliens were in Atlanta,” as reported by CNS News.
Nor is the problem limited to Atlanta or even Georgia. Similar examples can be found all over the country. Here in South Florida, the IRS sent 1,972 refunds to “unauthorized” recipients totaling $2,256,302, all going to a single address in Palm Beach Gardens.
Other cities hard hit with thousands of refunds going to a single address include Oxnard, Calif., Raleigh, N.C., Phoenix, Ariz., San Jose, Calif. and Alvin, Calif. In each case, millions in improper IRS refunds were sent to one residence.
The problem began in 1996, when the IRS began issuing Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to undocumented immigrants who are “not authorized to work in the United States.” Three years later, the Treasury Inspector General reported the problem with this practice.
“The IRS issues Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to undocumented aliens to improve nonresident alien compliance with tax laws. This IRS practice seems counter-productive to the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s (INS) mission to identify undocumented aliens and prevent unlawful alien entry,” TIGTA warned in that long-ago report.
But the practice continues, and the problem persists. Two IRS employees eventually went to a member of Congress “alleging that IRS management was requiring employees to assign Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) even when the applications were fraudulent,” according to the Inspector General’s 2012 audit.
All-in-all, the Inspector General found “154 addresses around the country that appeared on 1,000 or more ITIN applications made to the IRS” CNS reported.
CNS’s Terence Jeffrey continued:
Perhaps the most remarkable act of the IRS was this: It assigned 6,411 ITINs to unauthorized aliens presumably using a single address in Morganton, North Carolina. According to the 2010 Census, there were only 16,681 people in Morganton.
In the age of computers, this would be something easily nipped in the bud — if the IRS wanted it nipped.
Also, the $70 million in employee bonuses the IRS is demanding suddenly seems like small potatoes compared to this.
But most of all, I keep thinking that in 2014, this same agency, the IRS, is going to be running the Affordable Care Act. If they can’t competently handle their own business, how can we expect them to administer Obamacare?
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