On Wednesday, the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration released a report that showed glaring evidence that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees were discouraged from detecting fraudulent applications for Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs). These ITINs are given to non-U.S. citizens who are ineligible for a Social Security Number. According to the report, a single address in both Phoenix and Dallas were used for more than 15,000 ITIN applications, and more than 150 mailing addresses were used more than 1,000 times.
It is one thing for IRS officials to come up short in protecting American taxpayers from fraud, but it is quite another to be aiding illegal immigrants. The report shows that not only is the IRS not doing its job in detecting fraud, but agency management has taken steps to actively avoid dealing with fraudulent activities. When millions of dollars in returns are being sent to one address, it is blatantly clear that the IRS is turning a blind eye to protecting taxpayer dollars.
In light of this report, the IRS has agreed to make reforms, including more training and an improved review process that would require applicants to provide originals of documents like a driver's licenses or birth certificate.