Do The Math!
Route to legal status can be taxingWell something doesn't add up there.
It’s impossible to put an exact figure on how many illegal immigrants are paying state and federal income taxes, though the Internal Revenue Service says nearly 1 million returns were filed with Tax ID numbers in 2003, the most recent year that data is available. Most estimates put the number of illegal immigrants in the United States at 11-12 million.
The number of people applying for Tax IDs has been on the rise in recent years. Last year, the IRS issued 1.5 million nationwide, a 30 percent increase from 2005. Nearly 10.8 million Tax IDs have been issued since the program started in 1996. The numbers are issued to wage earners, as well as spouses and children who could be claimed as dependants.
People can also use Tax ID numbers to file Georgia income taxes, said Charles Willey, spokesman for the state’s Department of Revenue. Willey said his agency couldn’t offer an estimate of how much revenue the state has received from people using Tax ID numbers, but the IRS says that close to 42,400 people in Georgia had the IDs in 2003.
Some critics see downsides to illegal immigrants filing tax returns and receiving specially assigned numbers from the IRS to make the process easier.
“It makes illegals seem more embedded in U.S. society,” said Steve Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies. “It just creates a greater contempt for immigration law.”
Camarota also said that issuing tax ID numbers allows illegal immigrants to get refunds that they couldn’t claim if they simply used bogus Social Security Numbers. He said most illegal immigrants make so little that they would be likely to get a refund.
Nearly 79 percent of the 353,000 returns filed for 2000 with a Tax ID number generated refunds. The average refund was $942, according to the study released in 2004 by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
H/T Dusty Inman
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