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Law360 (March 3, 2021, 5:52 p.m. EST) – Provisions in President Joe Biden’s Pandemic Relief Plan that would expand eligibility for earned income tax credits will be a major test of Democrats’ efforts to extend tax incentives to immigrants, the individuals hold tax identification numbers.
Rep Don Beyer, D-Va., Hoped undocumented workers with ITINs could benefit from a temporary extension of the tax credit for workers without children. (AP Photo / Cliff Owen)
Several Democrats said the reconciliation bill was for Biden’s US $ 1.9 trillion bailout plan passed the house, 219-212, on February 27th Step up efforts Relaxation of restrictions on tax breaks for approximately 4.5 million migrant workers with ITINs. Proponents said expanded access to tax incentives could bridge Biden’s plan to provide an eight-year path to citizenship and full tax breaks for the country’s total population of 11 million undocumented workers.
On the flip side, Republicans have opposed two proposed changes to tax law that would allow a migrant worker with an ITIN who has children without a Social Security number or is separated from a spouse to qualify for the employee tax credit who has no children
The proposal would remove a provision made by the Tax Act 1986 in Section 32 (c) of the Internal Revenue Code. This prevents undocumented workers from receiving the tax credit if their children do not have a social security number.
GOP procedural complaints and changes were examined for possible debates later that week, when the draft reconciliation was presented ready to come in the Senate. The Senate is expected to publish a revised version of the Filibuster-safe reconciliation calculationwithout a suggestion for a minimum wage of $ 15 per hourto go back to the house to vote on final approval next week. Legislators are pushing for the measure to be completed before the extended unemployment benefit expires on March 14th.
Reps Don Beyer, D-Va., And Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., Both members of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the proposed expansion of tax credit access for workers without children was needed to counter the effects of COVID -19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“They may not be full American citizens yet, but they pay taxes and make important contributions to our economy and culture. So it’s only fair that we help them too,” Beyer told Law360.
He hoped undocumented workers with ITIN would also benefit from other measures in the bill that would temporarily expand the Childless Employee Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Credit for 2021.
“When you pay taxes, you deserve some of the benefits,” Gomez told Law360. “We’re giving them some of the benefits.”
Christine Speidel, professor at the Charles Widger School of Law at Villanova University, praised the law of reconciliation for including several changes for undocumented individuals Workers with ITINs that she said sometimes support extended families, including nieces and nephews.
“I hope this proposal is a sign that Congress is open to changing its thinking about providing or rejecting the EITC on the basis of an entire ‘family unit’. Benefits granted to US taxpayers shouldn’t just be denied because a taxpayer supports non-citizen household members, “Speidel told Law360.
The Joint Tax Committee of Congress found that the proposal for an expanded tax credit eligibility for workers without children over 10 years would cost $ 252 million if an ITIN holder were separated from a spouse. And the panel found that the same incentive would cost $ 26 million over 10 years if an ITIN holder had children without a Social Security number.
In the Senate, Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, a member of the finance committee and former Republican Whip, said he and other Republicans had concerns about the two provisions aimed at helping undocumented workers with ITINs. He said they are investigating possible procedural objections or changes to redesign or delete provisions designed to help undocumented workers with ITINs.
“It seems like a workaround to bring money to people who are not legally eligible or shouldn’t be eligible for breaking our immigration laws. That’s a bad idea,” Cornyn told Law360.
In recent years, Cornyn and other Republicans have urged tightening restrictions on migrant workers with ITINs. For example, the 2015 Law to Protect Americans from Tax Hikes included a requirement to re-validate ITINs every five years and the Tax Reduction and Jobs Act 2017 requested that children’s social security numbers be included in any child tax credit or refundable child supplemental tax credit entitlement.
Senator Todd Young, R-Ind., A member of the finance committee and former chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said he and other Republicans believe the two provisions of the Pandemic Relief Act may be vulnerable Byrd rule Points of order. The rule is aimed at coordination measures that cause deficits outside the usual 10-year budget window or have no significant impact on the budget. Objections raised according to the rule can only be lifted with a majority of 60 votes in the Senate.
“During this pandemic, we should focus our resources on American citizens and lawful residents for a time of limited resources,” Young told Law360.
Young laid the groundwork for procedural objections by obtaining approval on Feb. 4, 58-42, of a largely symbolic change to the budget resolution for the 2021 budget. The add-on spoke out against a bill “that would allow illegal immigrants to receive payments for economic impact or similar direct, tax, temporary financial assistance”.
As Republicans looked at ways to curb regulations on migrant workers with ITINs, Senator Robert Menendez, DN.J., a member of the finance committee, said he hoped to rally opposition to possible GOP-backed procedural objections.
He and other supporters said they hoped to build on a provision in the Consolidated Appropriations Act Providing married couples with mixed immigration status the opportunity to qualify for pandemic assistance. The law, issued in December, allowed married couples of one spouse with an ITIN and the other with a Social Security number to retrospectively qualify for economic impact payments approved last March in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and also receive a second round of similar payments.
The Migration Policy Institute, a nonprofit research group, has estimated that the new bill has granted economic impact payments to 1.4 million spouses with U.S. citizenship or legal immigration status and 1.5 million children with U.S. citizenship or legal immigration status for the first time before such services have been excluded.
Menendez said the adoption of provisions for migrant workers with ITINs in the Reconciliation Act could pave the way for other measures aimed at expanding access to tax incentives for taxable non-citizens.
“It would be another step towards justice and equity in our benefits system and in our immigration system,” Menendez told Law360.
– Editing by Tim Ruel and Robert Rudinger.
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