The United States could raise nearly $300 billion over 10 years by eliminating tax subsidies to illegal immigrants and the companies that employ them, according to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
With tax reform moving to the front-burner for lawmakers next week when they return to Capitol Hill from summer recess, eliminating two tax breaks for illegal aliens and their employers would help pay for tax cuts to the tune of $296 million.
"The largest challenge facing tax reformers is finding sufficient additional revenue to pay for the tax cuts and tax incentives they promised to the people who elected them," CIS says in its report. "In fairness to the American families and businesses to whom these tax cuts have been promised . . . Congress should consider eliminating unwarranted tax breaks to unauthorized alien workers and their employers."
The two tax breaks to eliminate, according to CIS — the subsidies for employers of illegals, and the other for unauthorized workers themselves.
The first step is to amend the IRS code. Though it's illegal to employ illegal aliens, "the IRS has ruled that section 162(e) does not apply to the wages paid to those aliens, even if the employer knowingly broke the law," CIS writes.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, sponsored and introduced a bill in January to do just that, but it stalled in the sub-committee on Immigration and Border Security.
The second step is to firm up and shut down the "questionable interpretation of the law" the IRS is using that has allowed illegal immigrants to claim Child Tax Credits by using a tax identification number vs. a social security number.
CIS estimates limiting the child tax credits would increase federal tax revenues by $42 billion over 10 years.
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