Scam: Gang of Eight's Immigration Bill

Photo Credit: Politico

[T]he part of the [Gang of Eight Immigration Bill] that dictates who owes taxes and how much they will have to pay raises several questions, the answers to which could mean millions of dollars in tax revenue and whether the government has a realistic shot at collecting taxes owed by undocumented workers.

“I think no one can go back and guess or surmise how much the unpaid taxes would be for the entire group,” said David Marzahl, the president and CEO of the Center for Economic Progress, a group that works on tax issues with low-income and immigrant groups.

Negotiators had to choose between a hard-line approach favored by Republicans, like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), that would have required immigrants and employers to painstakingly piece together a tax history so the government could collect what is owed and a less burdensome option of focusing on people who already have a past-due bill with the Internal Revenue Service.

They chose the milder approach and punted the details to the Treasury Department and IRS to hash out down the road.

“Getting back taxes is incredibly difficult, particularly when someone has paid into a fraudulent Social Security number,” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a member of the gang, told POLITICO. “You might have a case where the government owes more back than it gets in. So I don’t know. We’ll leave that up to the IRS to figure how we do it.”

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