WASHINGTON — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Department of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week asking him to examine the Internal Revenue Service’s failure to prevent fraudulent overpayments of the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) to illegal aliens. Under Commissioner John Koskinen, the IRS has allowed a filer to use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), rather than a Social Security Number (SSN), to claim the ACTC. The IRS’s own inspector general warns that this policy leaves the ACTC vulnerable to fraudulent overpayments.
“Although federal law makes illegal aliens ineligible for any public benefit, the IRS’s refusal to require SSNs for the ACTC allows illegal aliens to receive fraudulent ACTC payments,” Johnson wrote in the letter. “During a recent Committee hearing, Inspector General George testified that the IRS does not sufficiently identify potentially fraudulent behavior and fails to adequately address the fraud with existing authorities. One method to quickly reduce fraudulent ACTC payments is to require an SSN. The Treasury Department ought to review the IRS’s refusal and consider requiring that any filer claiming the ACTC in the next tax season prove their identity using an SSN. The IRS’s failure to remedy this vulnerability on its own accord not only continues to cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year, but also provides an incentive for illegal immigration into the country.”
The full letter can be found here.