IRS Commissioner John Koskinen confirmed Tuesday that illegal immigrants granted amnesty from deportation under President Obama’s new policies would be able to get extra refunds from the IRS for money they earned while working illegally, as long as they filed returns during those years.
Illegal immigrants who are granted the amnesty will be given official Social Security numbers, which means they can go back and amend up to three years of previous tax forms to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, potentially claiming billions of dollars in additional payments they were ineligible for before the amnesty [Washington Times, IRS Offers Tax Refunds].
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen confirmed Tuesday that illegal immigrants granted deportation amnesty are entitled to collect additional tax refunds under President Obama’s plan for executive action on immigration.
President Obama announced the plan on November 20, 2014 where he addressed the fact that illegals passing background checks and paying taxes could remain in the United States:
“If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes — you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That’s what this deal is.”
The refunds will come from an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and will be retroactive, based on money earned while working illegally from as far back as 2011. This only applies to individuals who previously registered for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and hold a valid Social Security number, but could still add up to billions of dollars in payments they were ineligible for prior to amnesty.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is a government grant intended to help working families earning a low to moderate income. It reduces the amount of tax owed and may also provide a refund. There is a long list of qualifications, but all individuals must file a tax return with the IRS, regardless of whether or not they owe taxes or are not required to file.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) demanded a solution to the loophole: “The IRS’s interpretation of the EITC eligibility requirements undermines congressional policy for not rewarding those working illegally in the United States.”
Because the IRS wants to be paid taxes based on earnings of illegal immigrants who do work in the United States they have issued millions of ITIN numbers—those that qualify through the loophole have paid taxes, but there is a long standing debate over whether illegal immigrants should be eligible for benefits at all.
According to the Obama administration, as many as 4 million illegal immigrants could earn “deferred action.” It is unclear how many of those could be eligible for the EITC.
Illegal immigrants are also entitled to additional refunds under the Child Tax Credit—according to the IRS, the law is vague over who is eligible, so for now illegal immigrants also qualify [“Loophole Provides Tax Refunds,” Fox News].
What do you think? Is this fair?
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