Legislation would end tax credits for immigrants

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Millions of Americans across the nation take advantage of the child tax credit. And it stands now, millions of undocumented workers are currently able to take advantage of this credit too.

Under current law, the Internal Revenue Service allows individuals filing with an Individual Tax Identification Number to access the child tax credit, allowing those in the country illegally to receive the credits.

An audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that illegal workers collected $4.2 billion in the tax credit known as the Additional Child Tax Credit, a refundable credit meant for authorized working families. The Inspector General’s Office said 2.3 million undocumented filers claimed the credit in 2010, adding up to $4.2 billion worth of refunds.

This tax loophole is fundamentally unfair to those workers who are authorized to work in the United States, and closing the loophole will save American taxpayers billions of dollars.

I have cosponsored legislation, the Child Tax Credit Integrity Preservation Act of 2011, H.R. 3444, to require tax filers to provide a valid Social Security number to claim tax credits, such as child tax credits, when filing their tax returns.

This bill would effectively prevent illegal immigrants from claiming tax credits intended for law-abiding American taxpayers. A similar requirement is already in place for the earned income credit.

RANDY FORBES represents Western Tidewater in the U.S. House of Representatives. For contact information, see http://randyforbes.house.gov.