The Internal Revenue Service awards Obamacare premium tax credits to individuals without verifying that they are legally present in the United States or checking their citizenship status, according to a Government Accountability Officereport.
When individuals purchase health insurance in the Obamacare marketplace, they may beeligible to receive a refundable credit that helps them cover their premium. In order to qualify, an individual must be a citizen of the United States or lawfully present.
"IRS officials told us that IRS does not perform compliance checks to verify eligibility based on individuals' citizenship or lawful presence status," the auditors said.
The IRS said that instead of performing the check themselves, they rely on the state and federal marketplaces.
"While information that IRS receives from state and federal marketplaces may be effective in determining whether individuals met citizenship and lawful presence requirements for [premium tax credits], it does not address situations when state or federal marketplaces conditionally provided advance [premium tax credits] on behalf of individuals but subsequently terminated advance [premium tax credits] payments because of failure to prove citizenship or lawful presence," the auditors explained.