During a recent Senate hearing chaired by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) focused on the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) support of identity theft by illegal aliens and the IRS's total disregard for the American citizen victims of these crimes. Coats defined employment-related identity theft as occurring when someone uses another person's identity — their name or their Social Security number (SSN) — to get a job illegally.
The hearing also exposed the failure of Congress to do anything to protect American citizens from massive illegal alien job-related identity theft, leading me to think that what needs to be done is to provide the Social Security numbers of all members of Congress plus the Social Security numbers of all IRS officials and their staffs to illegal aliens so they can file their taxes without stealing the identities of average American citizens.
IRS and Congress Encourage and Tolerate Illegal Alien, Job-Related Felonies
Three key points came from the interchange between Sen. Coates and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
- The IRS encourages and facilitates the commission of job-related felonies, including Social Security fraud, forgery, perjury, and identity theft as long as these crimes are committed by illegal aliens and their employers.
- The IRS places the interests of illegal aliens ahead of those of American citizens by forbidding its employees from notifying American citizens, including millions of American children, that their Social Security numbers are being fraudulently used by illegal aliens in spite of the fact that these Americans suffer serious harm.
- Congress is complicit since it has long been aware of the problem but has done nothing to protect American citizens from illegal alien, job-related felonies. I wrote about this in 2009 in a CIS Backgrounder: Illegal, but not Undocumented: Identity Theft, Document Fraud, and Illegal Employment", and yet like Captain Renault in the film classic, "Casablanca", every time this comes up our elected officials all repeat in unison "I'm shocked, shocked to find that illegal alien driven identity theft is going on in here!"
IRS Does Not Notify Victims
As Coats explained, when a stolen Social Security number is used, a W-2 form with this false information is then sent to the IRS and Social Security Administration (SSA) by an employer and the W-2 may be attached to the tax return of the illegal alien worker. The average person would naturally assume that when the IRS or SSA receives the phony W-2 they would flag it and take action against the employer and employee submitting it. However, they don't and this is what really happens:
- The IRS processes tax returns with false W-2 information and issues refunds as if they were routine tax returns.
- When the IRS marks the account of a victim, it does not notify the Social Security Administration that the victims did not earn the income reported on a W-2.
- The IRS forbids its employees from notifying victims that their information has been stolen. The IRS identified 200,000 new cases of employment-related identity theft last year and marked the victims' accounts, yet did not notify the victims.
- According to the IRS officials, their job is simply to process tax returns and issue tax refunds or collect taxes due.
- The IRS ignores notifications from the Social Security Administration that a name does not match a Social Security number and may use its own system to determine whether or not a number is valid.
- Employers are liable for IRS-imposed fines and penalties if they submit false W-2 information, yet neither the IRS nor the Social Security Administration notifies employers that the information they are submitting is false, and they don't fine or otherwise penalize the employers.
- The IRS does not examine returns submitted on paper for employment-related identity theft.
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George confirmed that what Sen. Coates outlined above was "completely accurate" and noted that the IRS did have a pilot program to address the issue, but ended it, so nothing is being done to protect Americans with Social Security numbers being used for employment purposes by illegal aliens.
IRS Commission Defends Need for Illegal Alien Job-Related Identity Theft
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen then reiterated IRS support for illegal alien job-related identity theft by downplaying how serious it is and ignoring the multiple felonies committed by illegal aliens. Koskinen also showed a total disregard for American citizens, including millions of innocent American children, who are the victims of illegal alien, job-related identity theft. Key points made by Koskinen:
- It's in everyone's interest to have illegal aliens use the identifying information of Americans in order to be able to file their taxes (since they cannot legally obtain Social Security number).
- If the Social Security number being used has been borrowed, that's not the normal identity theft situation (although it is still forgery, Social Security fraud, and perjury on an I-9 form — all felonies).
- When the numbers are stolen and not borrowed, that is more problematic and the IRS is trying to find a way to protect American citizens without preventing illegal aliens from filing their taxes (even if this means allowing illegal aliens to freely use Americans' Social Security numbers).
- The IRS is "very sensitive to protecting taxpayer information on both sides" (i.e. protect the information of the identity thieves and in no case turn them over to law enforcement).
- A bill titled the "Social Security Identity Defense Act" that requires the IRS to inform American citizens that their Social Security numbers have been fraudulently used has been pending with the Senate Finance Committee since May 13, 2015, but no one on the committee was aware of it. (In addition, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Committee Chairman, introduced a bill in 2011 to protect the victims of illegal alien job-related identity theft, but once he was re-elected he dropped it, so it appears that he has no desire to protect his constituents from this crime.)
- The IRS does, however, advise taxpayers when there has been any kind of access to one of its online applications that their Social Security number is in the hands of criminals. (Illegal aliens using fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers are committing multiple felonies — forgery, Social Security fraud, identity theft, and perjury on I-9 forms, but the IRS Commissioner does not view them as criminals.)
- The IRS does not notify taxpayers in the "very limited case where people file with an ITIN, but it is very clear that a Social Security number was used to get job" (75 percent of illegal aliens use a fraudulently obtained Social Security number in order to get jobs, so this "very limited" number is actually in the millions).
Protect American Citizens: Make the SSNs of IRS Staff and Congress Publicly Available for Use
Given the IRS' strong support for illegal aliens unlawfully using Americans' Social Security numbers and congressional indifference, the following steps should be taken.
- Make the Social Security numbers of all IRS employees, including the commissioner's, publicly available so illegal aliens can use them to get jobs and file taxes.
- Make the Social Security numbers of all senators, all members of the House, and all congressional staff publicly available.
If this were done, there would be no need for illegal aliens to unlawfully use the Social Security numbers of other innocent, law-abiding American citizens since thousands could use the same number.
Furthermore, the IRS commissioner and elected officials who support illegal alien job-related identity theft would finally be putting their Social Security numbers where their mouths are.