Today U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson (3rd Dist.-Texas) announced that non-partisan number crunchers revealed his common-sense bill to root out waste, fraud and abuse by requiring tax filers to provide their Social Security numbers to claim the refundable child tax credit would save taxpayers billions of dollars.
In late May Johnson introduced the Refundable Child Tax Credit Eligibility Verification Reform Act, H.R. 1956. Because this credit is refundable, as it stands parents who owe no taxes can receive cash back from the government for their children through the tax code.
The Joint Committee on Taxation studied Johnson's legislation and determined that it would save at least $10 billion if the temporary tax benefit expires in 2012 or $24 billion if current law is extended as the Administration has proposed.
In recent years, the number and dollar amount of improper payments arising from refundable tax credits has been increasing at an alarming pace. Over the last few years, the rampant abuse and misapplication of these credits has cost taxpayers billions. Unfortunately, this refundable tax credit can be provided to an illegal immigrant so long as the immigrant is able to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the IRS.
"Illegal immigrants may not only be receiving this public benefit through the tax code but may also be tempted to come to the U.S. because of it. This is just plain wrong," stated Johnson, who serves on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee as well as the Joint Committee on Taxation. "It is my hope that the new numbers from the JCT will propel House Leadership to move on this bill."
"It's time to close the loophole in the tax code that allows illegal immigrants to claim the refundable child tax credit. This simple change can go a long way toward protecting precious taxpayer dollars," concluded Johnson, a fiscal watchdog.
Johnson represents portions of Dallas and Collin Counties.