Katie Pavlich

Whether the lefties want to believe it or not, illegal immigration is an economic issue. Illegal aliens take huge negative tolls on our school systems, hospitals and are bankrupting our states while the federal government sits by to watch. Now, the Washington Post has found illegal aliens received billions in IRS tax credits last year, simply because officials refuse to ask about legal status on returns.

The Internal Revenue Service allowed undocumented workers to collect $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits last year, a new audit says, almost quadruple the sum five years ago.

Although undocumented workers are not eligible for federal benefits, the report released Thursday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration concludes that federal law is ambiguous on whether these workers qualify for a tax break based on earned income called the additional child tax credit.

Taxpayers can claim this credit to reduce what they owe in taxes, often getting refunds from the government. The vagueness of federal law may have contributed to the $4.2 billion in credits, the report said.

The IRS said it lacks the authority to disallow the claims.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, On Friday announced plans to examine the refunds.

“The disconcerting findings in this report demand immediate attention and action from Congress and the Obama Administration,” Hatch said in a statement.. “With our debt standing at over $14.5 trillion and counting, it’s outrageous that the IRS is handing out refundable tax credits...to those who aren’t even eligible to work in this country.”

Wage earners who do not have Social Security numbers and are not authorized to work in the United States can use what the IRS calls individual taxpayer identification numbers. Often these result in fraudulent claims on tax returns, auditors found.

Their data showed that 72 percent of returns filed with taxpayer identification numbers claimed the child tax credit.

The audit recommended that the IRS seek clarification on the law and check the immigration status of filers with taxpayer indentificaion numbers.

IRS officials, in response to a draft of the report, agreed to consult with the Treasury Department on the law. But they said they have no legal authority to demand that filers prove their legal status when the tax agency processes returns.

The first step in fixing any illegal immigration problem, is to inquire about legal status. If we simply can't ask whether an individual is in the United States illegally, based on fears of "offending" someone or fielding accusations of "discrimmination," this problem will never go away as illegal aliens continue to bankrupt our public services. SB 1070 and Alabama's new immigration law would prevent fraudulent claims made by illegals and paid out in the billions of dollars by taxpayers in the future because they allow police officers to inquire about legal status. This isn't rocket science.


Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her new book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, will be published on July 8, 2014.

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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography