IRS commissioner brushes off illegal immigrants’ use of fraudulent SSN’s to file returns, says ‘it’s not the normal identity-theft situation’
The IRS is issuing refunds to illegal immigrants who have apparently obtained jobs using social security numbers that aren’t their own, revealed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen after confronted by Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) Tuesday during a session of the Senate Finance Committee.
“What we learned is that … the IRS continues to process tax returns with false W-2 information and issue refunds as if they were routine tax returns, and say that’s not really our job,” Coats said. “We also learned the IRS ignores notifications from the Social Security Administration that a name does not match a Social Security number, and you use your own system to determine whether a number is valid.”
Asked to explain those practices, Koskinen replied, “What happens in these situations is someone is using a Social Security number to get a job, but they’re filing their tax return with their [taxpayer identification number].” What that means, he said, is that “they are undocumented aliens … . They’re paying taxes. It’s in everybody’s interest to have them pay the taxes they owe.”
As long as the information is being used only to fraudulently obtain jobs, Koskinen said, rather than to claim false tax returns, the agency has an interest in helping them. “The question is whether the Social Security number they’re using to get the job has been stolen. It’s not the normal identity theft situation,” he said.
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