Congressman Luke Messer

Representing the 6th District of Indiana

Rep. Messer Urges President Trump to Take Executive Action on Tax Loophole Allowing Billions in Payments to Illegal Immigrants

Feb 11, 2017
Press Release

Rep. Messer Urges President Trump to Take Executive Action on Tax Loophole Allowing Billions in Payments to Illegal Immigrants

WASHINGTON (Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017) – Today Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to take executive action on a tax credit loophole that allows billions of dollars in payments to illegal immigrants.

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) provide American families $1,000 per child as a federal tax benefit, but the program is wrought with fraud.  That’s because this benefit can be claimed without a valid Social Security Number by using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), which is issued to individuals regardless of immigration status.

A 2014 Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report estimated that between $5.9 and $7.1 billion was being paid out a year to illegal immigrants and individuals illegally claiming children through the Additional Child Tax Credit. A 2011 report estimated that $4.2 billion was going just to illegal immigrants.

In 2012, WTHR Channel 13 in Indianapolis produced an investigative series that found undocumented workers were not only claiming this tax credit, but claiming it for kids that weren’t even living in the United States.

“Most Americans are astonished to learn that each year billions of taxpayer dollars are given out to people who are in our country illegally,” Messer said. “This is just one example of how our broken tax and immigration systems continue to incentivize immigrants to come here illegally. It’s long past time to change it.”

Messer authored legislation last month to address this issue. His proposal, H.R. 363, would ensure that only taxpayers with a valid Social Security Number are able to claim the Child Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit.

While Congress works to enact this legislation, Messer urged President Trump to consider executive action to protect U.S. taxpayers by:

  •       Directing the Treasury Department to prohibit the IRS from allowing any individuals to claim the CTC or the ACTC who do not have a SSN that is valid for employment.

  •       Directing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to designate the CTC and the ACTC program as a high-priority program to subject the program to greater levels of oversight and review.