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What Back Taxes?

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What Back Taxes?

by David Frum

Apr 30, 2013 10:45 AM EDT

You've heard a million times that "the path to citizenship" for former illegal aliens will require payment of back taxes. Like so much in this debate, that turns out not to be true, as the Center for Immigration Studies reports today:

[T]he bill provides that amnesty applicants must have “satisfied any applicable federal tax liability” that has previously been “assessed” by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A tax is “assessed” only when the IRS officially records that it is owed which occurs after a tax return has been submitted or after the IRS has conducted an audit. Since illegal immigrants working off the books do not submit tax returns and are generally not the subjects of IRS audits, it is unlikely that this provision will have any impact on the majority of amnesty applicants.

The bill also does not address employers’ federal payroll tax liability (e.g. Social Security and Medicare (FICA) taxes), nor does the bill address liability for state and local taxes.

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