Today, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen made an appearance on Capital Hill.  He told senators the IRS is doing everything they can to see to it that illegal aliens are able to illegally use Social Security numbers for legitimate purposes, but without allowing the numbers to be used for “bad” reasons.

He made the statement in response to a question from Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., during a session of the Senate Finance Committee about why the IRS appears to be collaborating with taxpayers who file tax returns using fraudulent information. Coats said that his staff had discovered the practice after looking into agency procedures.

“What we learned is that the IRS continues to process tax returns with false W-2 information and issue refunds as if they were routine tax returns, and say that’s not really our job,” Coats said. “We also learned the IRS ignores notifications from the Social Security Administration that a name does not match a Social Security number, and you use your own system to determine whether a number is valid.”

As long as the information is being used only to fraudulently obtain jobs, Koskinen said, rather than to claim false tax returns, the agency has an interest in helping them. “The question is whether the Social Security number they’re using to get the job has been stolen. It’s not the normal identity theft situation,” he said.

He also said that the agency is working to determine “the most effective way to do with this without necessarily having people decide not to file their taxes… . Obviously the priority is to have the IRS collecting those taxes.”

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