Tax loophole costs billions

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Stephanie, May 7, 2012.

  1. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    AMAZING...Contact your CongressCritters

    SNIP:
    Posted: Apr 26, 2012 8:55 PM CDT
    Updated: Apr 30, 2012 9:00 AM CDT
    By Bob Segall - bio

    Note: This is part one in a two-part series. Read part two here.

    INDIANAPOLIS - Inside his central Indiana office, a longtime tax consultant sits at his desk, shaking his head in disbelief.

    "There is not a doubt in my mind there's huge fraud taking place here," he said, slowly flipping through the pages of a tax return.

    The tax preparer does not want you to know his name for fear of reprisal, but he does want you to know about a nationwide problem with a huge price tag.

    He came to 13 Investigates to blow the whistle.

    "We're talking about a multi-billion dollar fraud scheme here that's taking place and no one is talking about it," he said.

    The scheme involves illegal immigrants -- illegal immigrants who are filing tax returns.

    How it works

    The Internal Revenue Service says everyone who is employed in the United States – even those who are working here illegally – must report income and pay taxes. Of course, undocumented workers are not supposed to have a social security number. So for them to pay taxes, the IRS created what's called an ITIN, an individual taxpayer identification number. A 9-digit ITIN number issued by the IRS provides both resident and nonresident aliens with a unique identification number that allows them to file tax returns.

    While that may have seemed like a good idea, it's now backfiring in a big way.

    Each spring, at tax preparation offices all across the nation, many illegal immigrants are now eagerly filing tax returns to take advantage of a tax loophole, using their ITIN numbers to get huge refunds from the IRS.

    The loophole is called the Additional Child Tax Credit. It's a fully-refundable credit of up to $1000 per child, and it's meant to help working families who have children living at home.

    But 13 Investigates has found many undocumented workers are claiming the tax credit for kids who live in Mexico – lots of kids in Mexico.

    "We've seen sometimes 10 or 12 dependents, most times nieces and nephews, on these tax forms," the whistleblower told Eyewitness News. "The more you put on there, the more you get back."

    The whistleblower has thousands of examples, and he brought some of them to 13 Investigates. While identifying information such as names and addresses on the tax returns was redacted, it was still clear that the tax filers had received large tax refunds after claiming additional child tax credits for many dependents.

    "Here's a return right here: we've got a $10,3000 refund for nine nieces and nephews," he said, pointing to the words "niece" and "nephew" listed on the tax forms nine separate times.

    "We're getting an $11,000 refund on this tax return. There's seven nieces and nephews," he said, pointing to another set of documents. "I can bring out stacks and stacks. It's just so easy it's ridiculous."

    20 kids = $30,000

    WTHR spoke to several undocumented workers who confirmed it is easy.

    They all agreed to talk with WTHR investigative reporter Bob Segall and a translator as long as WTHR agreed not to reveal their identity.

    One of the workers, who was interviewed at his home in southern Indiana, admitted his address was used this year to file tax returns by four other undocumented workers who don't even live there. Those four workers claimed 20 children live inside the one residence and, as a result, the IRS sent the illegal immigrants tax refunds totaling $29,608.

    SNIP:
    Agency responds – sort of

    What does the IRS have to say about all this?

    The agency sent WTHR a statement, defending its policy of paying tax credits to illegal immigrants.

    "The law has been clear for over a decade that eligibility for these credits does not depend on work authorization status or the type of taxpayer identification number used. Any suggestion that the IRS shouldn't be paying out these credits under current law to ITIN holders is simply incorrect. The IRS administers the law impartially and applies it as it is written," the statement said.



    the rest with video
    http://www.wthr.com/story/17798210/tax-loophole-costs-billions
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  2. Dot Com
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    Dot Com Nullius in verba Supporting Member

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    your link isn't working Steph :mad:
     
  3. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    I just had it up there, now not working for me either..I've been hearing about this for a couple of days..I'll see if I can find another link..but I posted a lot of the article to give you a good idea on it..

    edit: there you go
    http://www.wthr.com/story/17798210/tax-loophole-costs-billions
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012

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