Indiana lawmaker asks Congress to eliminate tax credits for undocumented workers
October 10, 2017
Rep. Luke Messer spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives last week, asking House colleagues to support House Resolution 2817. The legislation would allow only taxpayers with Social Security numbers to claim the Child Tax Credit, which provides a federal tax credit of $1,000 per child for low-income families. Messer filed the legislation earlier this year, citing a WTHR investigation that exposed many undocumented workers are claiming the tax credits for children who have never lived in the United States. A separate investigation by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) revealed more than $4 billion annually is paid in Child Tax Credits to undocumented workers.
Following WTHR’s 2011 investigation, the Internal Revenue Service announced it would make changes to help prevent fraud, to better identify those who were improperly claiming the tax credits, and to warn unsuspecting taxpayers whose Social Security numbers were stolen by undocumented workers for the purposes of filing tax returns. But follow-up investigations by WTHR found the IRS instead told its workers to ignore the fraud, and 13 Investigates discovered a recent TIGTA audit that shows the IRS did not implement many of the changes, failing to notify millions of U.S. taxpayers that they have been victims of identity theft.
“We can’t continue to reward people who come to our country illegally, while those who work hard and play by the rules struggle to get ahead,” Messer said on the House floor last week. “My legislation would stop billions of taxpayer dollars from going to illegal immigrants by eliminating a loophole in our tax code. This money should be used to increase the Child Tax Credit for law-abiding, American families.”