Internal Revenue Service supervisors “urged” their subordinates to ignore cases of fraud in applications for Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, which allow foreign nationals to get tax refunds, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported today.

“Complaints from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees that their supervisors were urging them to ignore potential fraud in a program that reviews and verifies applications for Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) have been validated,” TIGTA announced in a new report.

“IRS management is not concerned with addressing questionable applications and is interested only in the volume of applications that can be processed, regardless of whether they are potentially fraudulent,” the announcement also stated.

J. Russell George, who leads TIGTA, “found an environment which discourages employees from detecting fraudulent applications.” George acknowledged, though, that  “the IRS recently announced a series of improvements that will take effect immediately on an interim basis, in response to our findings.”

The IRS disbursed $6.2 billion in tax refunds to people ITINs, which the IRS uses as “a means to efficiently process and account for tax returns and payments for those not eligible for Social Security Numbers.”