How US Tax Policy Excludes One in Six US Citizen Children from Poverty-fighting Tax Credits

How US Tax Policy Excludes One in Six US Citizen Children from Poverty-fighting Tax Credits

In the United States, 9.6 million children are living in poverty. Federal and state tax credits are among the most effective policy tools for fighting child poverty. However, one in six US citizen children who are living in poverty are not eligible to receive these tax credits because they have at least one undocumented parent. 

Infographic: 9.6 million children in the US live in poverty. 1/6 are US Citizens and ineligible for tax credits

Credit: Center for Migration Studies. Source: Journal on Migration and Human Security report, “Tax Equality for Immigrants: The Indispensable Ingredient for Remedying Child Poverty in the United States.”

Undocumented immigrants are required to pay the same taxes as other tax filers, using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). However, ITIN filers are not eligible for the same credits as taxpayers who file with a Social Security Number (SSN). Nearly 2 million children – 1.6 million US citizens and 270,000 non-citizens – are impacted by this exclusionary policy.

One of President Biden’s goals is to cut child poverty in half by expanding tax credits to working-poor families. This goal will be nearly impossible to achieve without including immigrants and their children more fully in the tax system. 

Learn more in the new Journal on Migration and Human Security report, “Tax Equality for Immigrants: The Indispensable Ingredient for Remedying Child Poverty in the United States.”

Learn more about the states that have already expanded tax credits to ITIN filers in the CMS Essay, “Innovating Inclusion: A New Wave of State Activism to Include Immigrants in Social Safety Nets.”

Join the CMS and co-sponsors, the Price Center for Social Innovation at the University of Southern California and NETWORK, the national Catholic social justice lobby, for the webinar, Tax Equality for Immigrants and Child Poverty, on September 15, 2021. Register: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_f5NfjfmlRrWbrZvShWgDcQ

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