Coalition Calls on Governor Newsom to Make CalEITC Available to Immigrant Workers Unable to Access Federal Safety-Net Programs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 16, 2020
Unai Montes (Bilingual)
Communications Director, United Ways of California
(213) 476 8742 cell
CalEITC Coalition Urgently Calls on Governor Newsom to Deploy Critical Resources Now to Boost Anti-Poverty Tax Credits to All Working Californians, Regardless of Immigration Status, In Light of California COVID-19 State of Emergency
600,000 Californians without SSNs Prepare and File Income Taxes with ITINs; Their Exclusion From CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit Makes Their 200,000 (Mostly U.S. Born) Children Even More Vulnerable in Wake of Economic Response to Nation’s Health Pandemic
What: The Coronavirus outbreak is already having a significant economic impact on our communities, hitting some Californians harder than others. Legislative champions and the CalEITC Coalition—made up of over 45 California anti-poverty, immigrants’ rights, faith-based organizations and children’s advocates — continue to build momentum and speak out about the unjust exclusion of ITIN filers from the CalEITC, one of our state’s most powerful means of lifting families out of poverty and buffering against economic crisis. Additionally, ITIN filers are still not allowed to take advantage of the Young Child Tax Credit. With our nation in a state of emergency and the level of economic uncertainty ramping up, CalEITC is calling for Governor Newsom to change these two tax credits immediately, in time to promote the programs for an April 15, 2020 income tax filing season….making a California for ALL.
When: Monday, March 16, 2020; Virtual Press Conference begins 12 p.m. (P.S.T.)
Where: Video link: https://zoom.us/j/657207804 Call-in #: (408) 638-0968 Code: 657 207 804
Who: Speakers (available for interviews)*:
Assemblymember Eloise Reyes
Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson
Assemblymember David Chiu
Mayor Michael Tubbs (Invited)
Kristen Birtwhistle, CEO of United Way San Joaquin County
Rosalba, ITIN filer, United Ways of California
Migdalia Sazo, Young Invincibles
Jessica Berthold MPH, First 5 Association
Impacted community member from the California Reinvestment Coalition
Impacted community member from SEIU California
Impacted community member from TODEC
Why: In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a rapidly evolving number of workers earning low wages are finding themselves suffering the impact of reduced hours, business closures, and growing economic uncertainty. While powerful policies like the CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit provide a small measure of certainty, Californians who file their taxes with ITINS are left out.
The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)
CalEITC is a vital tool that puts cash back into the pockets of working families who live in poverty. And yet hundreds of thousands of families are excluded from the CaEITC simply because one member files their taxes with a federally issued Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Workers who file with an ITIN do not qualify for Unemployment Insurance, Disability Insurance, or Paid Family Leave, so removing exclusions to the CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit is all the more critical for providing low-wage immigrant workers additional support in this unprecedented time.
For over three years, the CalEITC Coalition has been advocating to include all tax filers in this tax credit. Last year, the Senate and the Assembly included our recommendation to end the exclusion of ITIN filers from the CalEITC in their budget proposals. But during final negotiations, due in part to a lack of support from the Governor, ITIN filers were excluded and once again left out of this incredibly important tax benefit. With the COVID-19 pandemic that will exacerbate the California housing affordability and the cost-of-living at crisis levels, federal policies like the expansion of the “public charge rule” targeting low-income immigrant communities, and one of the highest levels of inequality in the country, CalEITC is needed more than ever to be a part of our state’s economic and social safety net for all Californians.
Additionally, ITIN filers contribute over $3.2 billion in state and local taxes, yet they remain excluded from a program that has been proven to be the most powerful tool to lift families out of poverty. Expanding the CalEITC to include ITIN filers would stimulate local economies, benefit over 600,000 Californians, including 200,000 children, and will re-establish California as a leader in the fight against poverty.
Young Child Tax Credit
Governor Newsom made history last year and created the Young Child Tax Credit to ensure that households with children under six earning as little as $1.00 would receive a $1,000 per household tax credit. Unfortunately, families with ITIN tax filers were not included.
The unique stresses on households with young children that cause 3 in 5 California households with children under 6 to struggle to make ends meet (https://www.unitedwaysca.org/realcost) are exacerbated amongst working-aged adults with ITINs, as they are ineligible from claiming CalWORKS, Unemployment Insurance, Medi-Cal, SSI, or any number of other federally funded safety-net benefits because they do not have Social Security Numbers.
Hence why the CalEITC Coalition calls upon Governor Newsom to take immediate and decisive action to make CalEITC and the Young Child Tax Credit available to all Californians, including those who prepare and file their state income taxes with ITINs.
*Please Note: In light of concerns around COVID-19, and following the Governor’s address on March 11, this press conference will be held as a virtual event.
As such, please do not hesitate to contact Unai Montes, 213-476-8742, to be connected with speakers for phone interviews as well as for a recording of the press conference.