All taxpayers should be eligible for the Working Families Tax Credit

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All taxpayers should be eligible for the Working Families Tax Credit

Including Individual Tax Identification Number filers in the credit is paramount

By Margaret Babayan, policy analyst, and Emily Vyhnanek, Working Families Tax Credit coalition manager - February 3, 2020

People who file their taxes with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) make significant contributions to our state. But they are currently excluded from receiving the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that Washington taxpayers with social security numbers receive. This session, lawmakers have an opportunity to fix this problem. House Bill 2521 and Senate Bill 6557 would lay a strong foundation for Washington state’s version of the EITC, the Working Families Tax Credit, by ensuring all taypayers are included in the credit.

ITIN filers represent a diverse group of taxpayers, including undocumented immigrants, certain student visa holders, spouses and children of people with visas tied to employment, and survivors of intimate partner violence. The federal EITC requires that the taxpayer, spouse, and qualifying children have a social security number. This means ITIN filers and their families are excluded from the EITC (and its associated health benefits), even when all children in the family have a social security number.

Everyone who pays taxes should be eligible for federal tax credits. Excluding ITIN filers undermines the incredible economic contributions ITIN filers make in state and local taxes. In 2017 alone, undocumented immigrants (including ITIN filers) contributed more than $300 million in state and local taxes, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Including ITIN filers in the Working Families Tax Credit would ensure these taxpaying members of our communities can benefit from the prosperous state economy they help create.

Lawmakers should ensure immigrants, families of immigrants, and survivors of domestic violence are supported with the Working Families Tax Credit – and that they are given the equitable access to opportunity the credit helps create.