The IRS is now the focus of a year-long audit, thanks to federal employees who are blowing the whistle. Howard Antelis is a tax examiner at the IRS's ITIN processing center in Austin, Texas. The large, unmarked building in south Austin is where the IRS decides whether to issue an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to the millions of illegal immigrants who apply for them. An ITIN allows undocumented workers to file tax returns and pay taxes, a legal requirement for those who earn income in the United States … even those who come to the country illegally.
But 13 Investigates discovered the ITIN system is plagued by abuse and fraud. A four-month Eyewitness News investigation documented how many illegal immigrants use ITINs to get tax credits and refunds they're not entitled to. WTHR in Indianapolis also exposed how millions of undocumented workers get their ITIN applications approved using phony documents.
The problems identified by 13 Investigates cost American taxpayers billions of dollars every year, according to a 2011 report from the U.S. Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration. After seeing WTHR's investigations, Howard contacted 13 Investigates to say the problems inside the ITIN processing center are more serious and systemic than originally reported.
13 WTHR Indianapolis
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