WASHINGTON—Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez told The Daily Caller Friday that he didn’t know that illegal immigrants are eligible for tax refunds — even if they haven’t paid taxes.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told members of Congress Wednesday that illegal immigrants who did not pay taxes will be able to claim back-refunds once they are issued social security numbers.
“I know nothing of the sort,” Gutierrez snapped at a Daily Caller reporter when asked about Koskinen’s testimony.
“Of course it would be like you to raise that sort of question,” the Democrat continued. “Why don’t you ask the commissioner of the IRS?”
The commissioner, of course, had already been asked about it.
“Under the new program,” Koskinen told members of the House oversight committee Wednesday, “if you get a Social Security number and you work, you’ll be eligible to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit.”
“You will get an amount depending on your situation,” Koskinen added. “If you are an individual working and applying for the Earned Income Tax Credit, the maximum you can get is in the range of 500 to 600 dollars.”
However, according to the IRS’ own website, a filer can receive a check up to $6,143 when they have “three or more qualifying children.”
When asked whether the tax credit program was only eligible to illegal immigrants who has previously filed tax returns, Koskinen conceded that those who haven’t filed before could still be eligible for back-credits.
“It turns out there was a lack of clarity about that,” Koskinen said. “If you get a social security number, you can then file for this year if you’re working and if you earned income in the 3 years you were working before that and filed you’ll be eligible.”
“If you did not file, you’ll have to file a return and you’ll have to file to demonstrate with the same information anybody else would that you actually earned income and were therefore eligible. That’s on the assumption that you would get the earned income tax credit automatically whether you were working or not.”
Despite Koskinen’s widely publicized remarks, Gutierrez seemed blindsided Friday when asked about the commissioner’s statements.
“I knew you were going to bring something negative up,” Gutierrez whined during the press conference. “It doesn’t matter what I say. You will turn it against all of us here at this caucus. You know it.”
Koskinen also said Wednesday that the White House never asked him or any other IRS official about the tax impact of Obama’s executive action on immigration.
“I haven’t talked to the White House about this at all,” he said.