Nonetheless, the contrast between tax returns filed with and without ITINs in 2010 is enlightening. As documented above, 72 percent of ITIN filers paid no income tax and received cash payments through child tax credits. In comparison, only 14 percent of people who filed regular tax returns (with a Social Security number instead of an ITIN) paid no income tax and received these payments.
The monetary totals of ITIN returns are also instructive. In 2010, ITIN filers paid a total of $0.9 billion in income taxes and received cash payments of $4.9 billion. In other words, ITIN filers received 5.4 times more cash than they paid in income taxes. Most of this cash—$4.0 billion of it—came through child tax credits. Since these figures include foreign investors who are not eligible for child tax credits, it is possible that little-to-none of the taxes paid came from illegal immigrants.