IRS chief John Koskinen says the agency isn’t alerting Americans when illegal migrants steal their Social Security numbers to apply for jobs sought by other Americans.
“Obviously, the priority for the taxpayers and the IRS is collecting those taxes” from illegals, not alerting Americans to the theft of their Social Security Number, Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee.
“What happens in these situations is someone is using a Social Security number to get a job,” the IRS boss said, but excuses the behavior by adding that the illegals “are filing their tax return with their ITIN,” or government-created taxpayer identification number used by illegal immigrants.
“They are undocumented aliens. … They’re paying taxes. It’s in everybody’s interest to have them pay the taxes they owe,” he said, adding that the agency does tell Americans when their Social Security numbers are stolen by criminals.
The IRS commissioner was answering question from Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN), who asked why it seemed the IRS was helping illegals use false Social Security Numbers. The senator said he discovered the practice in a review of IRS procedures.
Coates informed Koskinen that he had discovered that the agency ignores evidence that illegals are using improper numbers and continues to process W-2s and then issue refunds to illegals.
Koskinen went to pains to insist there was a difference between “bad” use of stolen identification numbers for tax fraud, and the apparently non-bad use of Social Security numbers to get jobs.
“There are questions about whether there’s a way we could simply advise people,” Koskinen insisted. “A lot of the time those Social Security numbers are borrowed from friends and acquaintances and they know they’ve been used; other times they don’t.”
If the Social Security numbers are shared by friends, those friends benefit by getting Social Security benefits without having worked.
Koskinen emphasized that the agency allows the use of stolen IDs to facilitate the payment of additional taxes. “Obviously, the priority is to have the IRS collecting those taxes,” he admitted.
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