The Washington Times posted a story yesterday about the problem of illegal aliens using social security numbers stolen from American citizens. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released its report Thursday stating that in 2015 there were potentially 1.4 million people likely affected by the the theft of their social security numbers.
Part of the problem lies within the government bureaucracy. The article reports:
The IRS knows of 2.4 million people a year who file taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, which is generally given out to immigrants who aren’t authorized to work. But the IRS is not allowed to talk with Homeland Security to help agents identify who and where those taxpayers are.
The migrants file their forms with their ITINs, but the W-2 forms they submit show valid Social Security numbers that they fraudulently gave to their employer to clear an initial work authorization check.
A staggering 87 percent of forms filed online using ITINs showed income credited to a Social Security number. More than half of forms filed by paper also showed that same fraudulent behavior.
The IRS tries to mark the files of the fraud victims when electronic filings are used. But the tax agency misses about half of the victims, the inspector general said.
For paper forms, the IRS did even worse, the audit found.
The tax agency, in its official reply to the report, insisted it takes identity theft “very seriously.”
Kenneth C. Corbin, commissioner of the IRS’s wage and investment division, said it has just completed a pilot program to figure out how to notify taxpayers they’re the victims of fraud.
The inspector general submitted recommendations with his report, by the IRS says its resources are too small to implement all of those recommendations. If you will excuse a personal gripe here, the IRS had enough resources to audit me the year I made a donation to the Tea Party. Nothing on our taxes had changed, and it was the first time my husband and I had been audited in 40+ years. I think the resources to solve the problem of stolen social security numbers could be found if the desire were there.