Undocumented immigrants may no longer have access to child tax credit

In an attempt to save additional funds brought in from taxes, a New Hampshire lawmaker has suggested eliminating the Additional Child Tax Credit made available to immigrant taxpayers. The intent is to eliminate the few cases of fraud that have been investigated, but others are saying this initiative will punish many immigrant tax payers who pay into the system and especially alienate those who truly need the help.

Child Tax Credits viewed as scheme by some lawmakers

Senator Kelly Ayotte has proposed stopping undocumented immigrants from claiming the Additional Child Tax Credit. She called the program a “scheme” that distorts reality. There have been several examples of fraud occurring when an undocumented worker admitted to using his address to file tax returns with four other undocumented workers. They fraudulently claimed 20 children in order to receive tax refunds that totaled nearly $30,000. Situations such as these give these tax credits a bad reputation and give understandable fear of those abusing the system, but the majority of immigrants who do pay into the system should still have access to these credits if they qualify.

Lawmakers should focus on weeding out fraud

There is no denying that incidents of fraud have occurred in the past, but weeding out the fraud is a much more cost effective method rather than completely eliminating the program according to the American Immigration Council. “Ending the entire program punishes those who are seeking to follow the law is throwing the baby out with the bath water.”

Immigrants who file an ITIN are doing the right thing by paying into the tax system and benefiting the future for themselves. As a whole, ITIN tax filers paid in over $13 billion in payroll taxes in 2011 according to the Social Security Administration. This is a large amount to contribute and by disenfranchising an entire group because of a few cases of fraud may not be the best decision for everyone.

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