IRS officials have taken part in a year-long audit to uncover mismanagement and fraud within a government agency–the IRS itself.
The audit came after a whistleblower tipped off the agency to rampant abuse involving Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, WTHR 13 in Indianapolis reported. The numbers allow undocumented workers to file tax returns and pay taxes, and has even been used by illegal aliens. WHTR’s investigative unit found that many of these illegal aliens are receiving tax credits and refunds they’re not entitled to by using fake documents on their ITIN applications.
“I’m horrified and ashamed and embarrassed by what I’ve seen. It’s not supposed to be like this,” Howard Antelis, a tax examiner at the ITIN processing center, told 13 Investigates. “We’re supposed to protect taxpayers, so somebody had to say something.”
After reporting on the problem, 13 Investigates was contacted by Antelis who edunveil how much deeper the problem was than originally reported. IRS workers had been told by upper management to ignore the fraud and pay out the refunds to those who did not deserve them, Antelis said.
For evidence Antelis pointed to a stack of ITIN applications for dozens of children at a school in South Carolina. After doing some research he found out the school never existed.
Antelis told 13 Investigate:
“C’mon. This is fraud! Those kids weren’t even real and I’m supposed to give out [ITIN] numbers?,” Howard recalls asking. “We’re tax examiners but the truth is we’re not supposed to look into anything. We’re not supposed to examine anything. It’s like an assembly line. It’s just ‘Get it out of here. Boom. Boom. Boom. Get it out of here and don’t worry about the fraud. Fraud slows us down.’”
After trying to report the abuse to bosses and getting nowhere, Antelis turned to the Inspector General’s office in Washington, D.C., which launched its own audit of the IRS. The report is expected to be released later this year, WND.com reported.