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Tax season brings about a lot of additional stress during this time of year as individuals scramble to get last minute things in order. Sometimes, this also brings along a resentment for those that have to pay less or not at all. Undocumented immigrants have been accused of not paying taxes, but the reality is that immigrants currently pay billions of dollars in taxes and would most likely be paying more if Congress had passed the initial comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Several different organizations have tried studying the economic impact of immigrants who pay taxes and how much this would increase if they had legal status. According to a study conducted by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), undocumented immigrants paid around $10.6 billion in state and local taxes combined in 2010.
In fact, immigrants are most likely paying around 6.4 percent on average of their income for state and local taxes. This would conclude that they are paying their fair share of taxes if not more than the tax rates paid by upper income taxpayers.
Another automatic tax is the sales tax on goods and services such as gasoline and clothing. Property taxes are paid by everyone including those who rent. Additionally, Harvard University created a study that determined immigrants’ payroll tax contributions to Medicare which reach above $3 billion a year.
The Center for American Progress argued for the benefits of passing a bill that has an eventual pathway to citizenship because it would inevitably increase tax revenues. The government has been looking for ways to decrease the federal deficit and increase the Social Security trust fund. Analysts hope that future legalization occurs sooner rather than later because of the large fiscal benefits associated with the tax system.