Report: MA Should Open Earned Income Tax Credit to Working Immigrants
Monday, May 17, 2021
BOSTON -- Groups are calling on Massachusetts to open up the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to working residents who pay taxes but may not qualify for a Social Security number.
A new report from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center pointed out the law requires everyone who works to pay taxes regardless of immigration status, but immigration status bars thousands of Commonwealth residents from accessing a key tax break meant for low-income working families.
Luz Arevalo, senior attorney for Greater Boston Legal Services, said the EITC disparity has existed for decades, and the pandemic put another spotlight on it for many of her clients.
"So many of these workers have the type of job that didn't stop, that didn't cease during the pandemic," Arevalo explained. "The grocery workers, the meatpackers, folks working in bakeries, some of our clients had to continue going to nursing homes."
The report noted in Massachusetts, between 18,000 and 19,000 households miss out on the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps more than 350,000 families make ends meet, solely because they lack a Social Security number, when they would otherwise be eligible.
If even one member of a household has an Income Tax Identification Number, which the IRS provides to immigrants who cannot get a Social Security number, the entire family is excluded from the EITC program.
Massachusetts' state EITC matches 30% of the federal credit, which doesn't accept income-tax ID numbers, but Arevalo noted it doesn't mean the Commonwealth can't have different eligibility requirements.
"I really support more of the Tax ID-blind policy when it comes to figuring out how much people pay in tax but also how much benefit they should get," Arevalo asserted.
States such as California, Colorado, Maryland and New Mexico have already expanded their state earned income-tax credits to residents with either a Social Security or an income tax ID number. Washington state has a similar credit that also includes all resident taxpayers.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…
It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …
A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…
By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Joyce Foundation-Public News Ser…
By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …
A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …
A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…
With Pennsylvania's primary election less than 60 days away, a nonpartisan group is stepping up the pace to educate people on voting by mail and by …