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Undocumented Immigrant Families With Young Kids Now Qualify For Some State Tax Credits

(Photo by 401(K) 2012 via Flickr CC)
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A pair of California tax credit programs that are often worth thousands of dollars for families with young children will be open to all immigrant parents under the state budget signed by Governor Gavin Newsom this week.

The Earned Income and Young Child Tax Credit programs had previously excluded anyone who files their taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, because they don’t have a Social Security number. Those families will be eligible for the credits when they file their 2020 taxes next year.

Alissa Anderson, a senior policy analyst at the California Budget and Policy Center, said:

“We're talking about families who are working and paying taxes just like everyone else, and so we think it's only fair to allow them to access the same credits that everyone else can.”

The center estimates the change will apply to 32,000 to 46,000 families statewide. A legislative analysis shows the expansion will cost about $65 million next year.
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Anderson said one shortcoming is that people who file taxes with an ITIN and don’t have a child under 6 years old will not qualify for either credit.

“I just don't think that California can continue to welcome immigrants here to work and gladly take their tax dollars, but then continue to shut them out of basic benefits,” she said.


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