The Internal Revenue Service said Friday that it is making important interim changes to strengthen its procedures for issuing Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers from now through the end of the year. 

Designed specifically for tax-administration purposes, ITINs are only issued to people who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number. However, ITINs have also been criticized for their use by illegal immigrants and undocumented workers. A report last year from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that individuals who are not authorized to work in the United States were paid $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits such as the Additional Child Tax Credit in 2010 because they were able to file tax returns using an ITIN (see Illegal Workers Got $4.2 Billion in Tax Credits).

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