The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) has issued its final report in an investigation stemming from a whistleblower complaint filed by a Texas resident.
The complaint was originally brought to members of Congress and was sent in an objective referral to the Inspector General by Senator Hutchison and Congressman Lloyd Doggett. The complaint alleged corruption and fraud within the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) program. ITINs are given to individuals who are required to pay federal income taxes, but are not eligible for Social Security. The complaint alleged ITINs were being distributed fraudulently to collect tax credits.
The Inspector General's report revealed more than $43 million in fraudulent returns and tax refunds in 2009 alone as a result. The Inspector General's report recommends a number of procedural changes, including training, to ensure this type of fraud does not occur again.
Senator Hutchison has written to Douglas Shulman, the Commissioner of the IRS, to urge the prompt implementation of all the recommendations and report back to her by September 10th of this year.
"I hope that you will quickly institute procedural changes that will focus on eliminating fraudulent ITINs and that you will encourage IRS employees to identify and report potential fraud," Hutchison wrote.
"I would like to applaud the constituent who brought this case to the attention of Congress," Hutchison said. "Although terms of the whistleblower statute require anonymity, this individual set a perfect example for all, by coming forward with information that clearly showed evidence of fraud -- which costs U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars."