INDIANAPOLIS – 13 Investigates has learned the tables are turned on a federal agency feared for its ability to audit taxpayers. The IRS is now the focus of a year-long audit, thanks to federal employees who are blowing the whistle.
The Inspector General dispatched auditors to Texas to interview Howard and dozens of other tax examiners.
Howard Antelis does not look intimidating.
The soft-spoken, gray-haired Midwesterner stands five feet seven inches tall, wears khakis and drives an old SUV. He spends most of his free time on a softball diamond, playing with his dogs and delivering meals to the elderly. But behind the laid-back, guy-next-door image is a longtime federal employee with a dogged personality and a tenacious sense of duty.
And right now, Howard might just be the IRS’s worst nightmare.
“I’m horrified and ashamed and embarrassed by what I’ve seen. It’s not supposed to be like this,” he told 13 Investigates. “We’re supposed to protect taxpayers, so somebody had to say something.”
Abuse and fraud
Howard is a tax examiner at the IRS’s ITIN processing center in Austin, Texas.
The large, unmarked building in south Austin is where the IRS decides whether to issue an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to the millions of illegal immigrants who apply for them. An ITIN allows undocumented workers to file tax returns and pay taxes, a legal requirement for those who earn income in the United States … even those who come to the country illegally.