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ICYMI: Gus Bilirakis Wants to Close Tax Loophole for Illegal Immigrants

January 13, 2015
Press Release

A Florida congressman wants to amend the Internal Revenue code to close a loophole being exploited by illegal immigrants.

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., is looking to ensure illegal immigrants are not able to receive federal tax refunds using the child tax credit. Bilirakis showcased the “Stop Handouts to Unauthorized Taxpayers (SHUT) Act” on Friday.

The new bill, which Bilirakis introduced on Wednesday, would ensure everyone claiming refunds under the child tax credit has to prove their eligibility to work in the U.S. by providing a Social Security number or other proof of legal residence. “Effective immigration reform requires enforcing the borders and removing the incentives for illegal immigration,” Bilirakis said on Friday. “It is also vital we stop wasteful and fraudulent spending, to get our nation’s fiscal course back on track. The SHUT Act achieves both of those goals.

“The SHUT Act is a positive step to end this waste of taxpayer money, and ensure the refundable child tax credit is there for the people it is meant to help: low-income families,” Bilirakis added.

Explaining why the bill is needed, Bilirakis pointed to a report from the Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released in 2011 which found illegal immigrants garnered $4.2 billion in child tax credits in 2010 as a reason his bill is needed.

At this early stage in the process, Bilirakis has not found a sponsor in the now Republican-controlled Senate. But sources close to Bilirakis told Sunshine State News on Monday that they are working on getting a Senate backer and hope to have it soon. In the meantime, on the House side, Bilirakis’ bill has been assigned to the Ways and Means Committee as it begins its process through the committees.

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