A report from the Government Accountability Office suggested the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services -- the agency responsible for immigration administration -- form a partnership to share information and increase tax compliance.

The GAO said that a pact between the two agencies -- which would encompass sharing tax return information -- could boost compliance while assisting immigration authorities on matters of eligibility.

According to the auditor general, in 2003 about 5 percent of businesses that applied to sponsor immigrant workers owed roughly $6 billion in back taxes.

As a result, the GAO suggested the IRS and the USCIS begin a pilot program that would help identify non-filers.

The GAO said that an applicant-initiated data-sharing arrangement could be implemented under existing IRC authority via taxpayer consent, whereby taxpayers would authorize the IRS to disclose their information. The USCIS then could verify applicant-provided data by obtaining tax returns or tax transcripts.

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