Billions of dollars in federal tax credits are flowing to illegal immigrants thanks to a loophole in the tax code that allows them to reap government dollars without authorization to work. A report issued last year by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration estimated claims of $4.2 billion in 2010.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala., photo) projected that through the Additional Child Tax Credit, illegal immigrants could procure about $7.4 billion this year, more than quadruple what was paid out four years ago and a startling sum more than the $161-million payout in 2001. While illegal immigrants are not eligible for similar tax credits, a dubious provision in the law grants them eligibility to receive the child tax credit — even if they paid no taxes.
The reason illegals are eligible for the credit is because even those not permitted to work in the country are expected to file tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If they have no Social Security number, the government grants them an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number in order to file. And despite their illegal status, they still qualify for the credit, which is accorded to certain families with children under 17 years old.
A three-month investigation by reporter Bob Segall with NBC News affiliate WTHR 13 exposed the scandal by way of an Indiana tax preparer who interviewed illegal immigrants collecting the welfare payments. “There is not a doubt in my mind there’s huge fraud taking place here,” the tax man, who asked to remain anonymous, asserted in the report. “We’re talking about a multi-billion-dollar fraud scheme here that’s taking place and no one is talking about it.”
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Photo: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee, left, accompanied Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) criticizes the economic policies of both Obama and Senate Democrats, Jan. 24, 2012, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington: (AP Images)