Joint statement on the ongoing exclusion of ITIN tax filers from CalEITC/Young Child Tax Credit
For Immediate Release
January 10, 2020
Unai Montes, (Bilingual)
Advocacy Coalition of Over 30 California Organizations Urge Governor Newsom to Add Tax Filers With Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to Refundable Tax Credits via State Budget
California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) Advocacy Coalition notes that including hard-working California immigrants with an ITIN to both the CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit would help to lift 200,000 children out of poverty
(Sacramento, CA) — Today the CalEITC Advocacy Coalition urges equitable benefits for all hard-working Californians, regardless of their immigration status. Currently, Californians who file taxes with ITINs—due to their immigration status—are not eligible for the CalEITC or Young Child Tax Credit. Over 200,000 of California’s children are excluded from these critical benefits.
The coalition, comprised of over 30 California organizations, recognizes progress has been made in recent years to ensure the poverty-fighting power of the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) reaches more communities and families struggling to stay afloat financially. But the reality for too many households is still one of hard choices — between rent or school books, transportation to work or life-saving prescriptions. This struggle is especially challenging for individuals who file their taxes with a federally assigned ITIN but remain excluded from the CalEITC, as well as from the newly enacted Young Child Tax Credit for families with children under six years of age.
“We applaud Governor Newsom’s leadership on improving financial stability for low-income Californians through the expanded CalEITC and now the Young Child Tax Credit, but the estimated 600,000 income-eligible and currently excluded ITIN filers and their 200,000 children are still on the outside looking in,” said Pete Manzo, President and CEO of United Ways of California. “Working California families that include an ITIN-holding adult pay taxes and should receive state credits just like all other taxpayers, but currently they are left out of one of the most effective poverty-fighting tools we have. 2020 is the year we must fix this exclusion and make CalEITC and the Young Child Tax Credit for all,” Manzo added.
The CalEITC is critical to tackling California’s poverty crisis and provides much-needed assistance to working families and individuals who are struggling to make ends meet.
Consider the following:
- Research shows that families who receive the tax credit benefit: Their children get healthier, do better in school, are more likely to attend college, and earn more as adults.
- Additional research shows that lower-income households who receive tax credits put that money immediately back into the local and state economy.
- The CalEITC also bolsters local economies by directly targeting support to low-wage workers who are often hit the hardest by economic downturns, natural disasters, and cuts from federal funding.
- Similarly, including ITIN filers with children under six in the Young Child Tax Credit will help families meet basic needs and support working adults with young children.
“Extending the CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit to all workers, including ITIN tax filers, is a win for all of us because in equity we all thrive,” said Cynthia Buiza, Executive Director of the California Immigrant and Policy Center. “This is especially important as even if one member of a household files taxes with an ITIN, the entire household is excluded, furthering the challenges these families face in meeting basic needs and supporting their children to thrive. With the rhetoric and action at the federal level around immigrants, we believe the CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit are critical for combatting harmful federal policies that drive immigrant communities further into poverty.”
The CalEITC Advocacy Coalition calls on Governor Newsom to help ensure the Golden State becomes the first in the nation to include all workers in shared economic prosperity through the CalEITC and the Young Child Tax Credit and remove barriers to all households working hard to thrive.
CalEITC Advocacy Coalition was formed in 2015 and is comprised of over 30 policy, organized labor, low-income service provider, community-based, and faith-based organizations.