The audit report blamed IRS management for ignoring a tax loophole that allowed individuals to defraud the government.
"It's ludicrous," said Darrell Bell of Marietta. "How do you miss something like that? That's crazy."
Auditors reviewed how the IRS gives individual tax identification numbers (ITIN) to individuals who are not eligible for social security numbers. ITINs are supposed to be assigned to nonresidents or residents who are not authorized to work in the United States. But the audit found the verification process for ITIN applications was lax, tax fraud was undetectable and managers eliminated processes that weeded out successful processes used to identify potential fraud patterns and schemes. Complaints by IRS employees alleged management removed those processes to increase the volume of applications that can be processed.
The report reads, "there is no assurance that ITINs are not being assigned to individuals submitting questionable applications."
The ITINs allow immigrants to file tax returns. Recent reports show some immigrants have received tax refunds by fraudulently claiming child tax credits.
In the most egregious case, the IRS sent 23,994 tax refunds totaling $46,378,040 to one address in Atlanta. The report did not reveal the address.
But the report shows Atlanta may be the hotbed for this type of fraud.
Of the ten most frequently used addresses for ITIN tax refunds, four are in Atlanta.
According to a 2012 letter written by IRS Wage and Investment Division Commissioner, Peggy Bogadi, the service is addressing the problem and implementing new procedures.
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