(CNSNews.com) - The Internal Revenue Service sent $7,319,518 in tax refunds in 2011 to what theoretically were 2,706 aliens who were not authorized to work inside the United States and who all used the same bank account, according to an audit report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
Since 1996, the IRS has issued what it calls Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to two classes of persons: 1) non-resident aliens who have a tax liability in the United States, and 2) aliens living in the United States who are “not authorized to work in the United States.”
The 2,706 tax refunds worth a combined $7,319,518 that the IRS sent to a single bank account in 2011 were all paid on tax returns that used Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers.
The inspector general's audit report revealing this remarkable payout was spurred by two IRS employees who went to members of Congress "alleging that IRS management was requiring employees to assign Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) even when the applications were fraudulent.”
The report was completed in June 2012 and released in August 2012. In an August press release that accompanied the report, TIGTA said the report “validated” the complaints of the IRS employees.
“TIGTA’s audit found that IRS management has not established adequate internal controls to detect and prevent the assignment of an ITIN to individuals submitting questionable applications,” said Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George. “Even more troubling, TIGTA found an environment which discourages employees from detecting fraudulent applications.”
The one bank account that got 2,706 refunds worth $7,319,518 in 2011 was not the only singular account that in 2011 received many hundreds of tax refunds theoretically paid to aliens who were not authorized to work in the United States.
In its audit report, TIGTA published a partially redacted list of the Top 10 bank accounts getting tax refunds in 2011 for aliens using ITINs. The list did not include the full account number or the name of the bank holding the account. But it did say that one account—00731XXX22—got 8,393 tax refunds in 2011 worth $236,747. A second account—200005XXX4---got 3,912 refunds worth $186,966. A third—199372XXX2—got 1,608 refunds worth $4,564,264. A fourth—200004XXX9—got 1,428 refunds worth $149,375. A fifth—200004XXX3—got 1,332 refunds worth $391,510. A sixth—630163XXX0—got 1,191 refunds worth $861,162. A seventh—00731XXX30—got 1,084 refunds worth $93,065. An eighth—20000XXX95—got 1,053 refunds worth $810,589. And a ninth—457020XXX8—got 853 refunds worth $1,814,730.
CNSNews.com asked the Office of the Treasury Inspector General if these bank accounts were in the United States. A spokesman said TIGTA did not look at that issue.
As CNSNews.com reported last week, this same TIGTA audit report also listed the Top 10 addresses in the United States where the IRS had sent multiple tax refunds presumably to aliens not authorized to work in the United States who had filed tax returns using ITINs.
The top address was one in Atlanta, Ga., where in 2011 the IRS sent 23,994 refunds worth $46,378,040.
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