BILL TO EXPAND TAX CREDIT WOULD EXCLUDE IMMIGRANT TAX FILERS
Sacramento, CA, June 15, 2019 – Today, the California Reinvestment Coalition expressed deep disappointment in Governor Newsom and California legislative leaders for their decision to exclude nearly 300,000 children from an important tax credit expansion that will be voted on next Monday, June 17th.
In his state budget, Governor Newsom proposed expanding the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), a tax credit for low-income families. However, Californians who file their taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) are excluded from claiming this credit, meaning many California children who have immigrant parents — including US-born children — will be left behind by the Governor’s proposed expansion. CRC and other advocates had urged Governor Newsom to include ITIN filers to more fully achieve his goal of a “California for All.”
“On Monday, members of the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation will be voting on a problematic budget trailer bill (AB 217) that includes an expansion of the CalEITC, but that inexplicably leaves behind an estimated 300,000 California kids whose parents pay their taxes using an ITIN,” explains Paulina Gonzalez-Brito, executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), which promotes economic security for low-income and immigrant communities. CRC is advocating to include ITIN filers in the governor’s CalEITC expansion.
“The California legislature is telling these taxpayers: ‘Sorry, but we don’t think you’re deserving of the benefits this tax credit provides, including better health, education, and financial outcomes for your family.’ It’s a slap in the face and it’s the opposite of the ‘California for All’ promise that Governor Newsom made when he was elected” adds Gonzalez-Brito.
CRC is urging legislative leaders to change AB 217 so that ITIN filers will be eligible for the CalEITC.
“Like all Californians, immigrant families have also been hard hit by the high cost of housing in our state, and it’s disappointing that immigrant taxpayers still cannot claim this tax credit that provides a much-needed financial boost to working families,” explains Bahlam Javier, a 21-year-old San Franciscan, whose parents own a small business and pay their taxes using an ITIN. “I look forward to the day when our state leaders take the high road and choose to both recognize and support all Californians.”
In a recent CRC survey, ITIN holders in California explained that not qualifying for tax credits like the CalEITC was one of the unique financial challenges they face. Other “hidden costs” ITIN filers cited were difficulties in accessing small business loans and paying higher costs for mortgages.