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IRS Couldn't Handle Workload Under Rubio, Hatch Immigration Amendment, Groups Say

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
By Casey Wooten

Staff for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) June 14 defended the lawmaker's proposed immigration bill amendment requiring undocumented workers to pay back taxes, as the provision met criticism from two Washington think-tanks that say the measure would put additional strain on an already overtaxed Internal Revenue Service.

Hatch and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) June 12 introduced four amendments to the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) that would create stringent requirements for tax payment disclosures, along with entitlement restrictions, for U.S. immigration applicants (114 DTR G-9, 6/13/13).

One of the four amendments would require applicants for U.S. residency to prove to IRS or the Treasury Department that they have paid all federal income tax, interest, and penalties for the time they have lived in the United States.

But as policy experts dig into the proposal, the question remains: How would IRS verify the income records for some of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States who may apply for legal status, many of whom are paid in cash and off the books?

Moreover, experts express doubt that a tax agency already under a heavy workload could accommodate the additional duties effectively.

Text of Dubay's Senate Immigration Bill Does Not Require Payment of All Back Taxes (Issue Brief #3970) is at

Text of CBPP's report, Benefit Restrictions Beyond Those in Senate Immigration Bill Would Jeopardize Legalization for Many And Risk Severe Hardships for Others, can be found at

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