Most illegal immigrants don’t file income taxes with the IRS, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform
. Some people hope to see that change, while others aren’t so sure.
Here are some of the pros and cons of illegal immigrants filing income tax returns.
When illegal immigrants pay income taxes, the United States brings in more revenue. People working in this country illegally are often paid under the table, meaning the money they receive is not taxed because they don’t have the legal right to work in the United States, according to the National Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention
. But if those workers pay taxes, the tax base grows, NLCATP said.
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It’s only fair that illegal immigrants contribute to the cost of financing the government, considering the Association of Mature American Citizens reports
the government benefits and services they receive include heavily subsidized public education for children in illegal immigrant households.
Payments from illegal immigrants are helping keep Social Security alive. Unauthorized immigrants have paid $100 billion into the fund over the past decade with no intention of ever collecting benefits, CNN reported
, adding: “Without immigrants, the Social Security Board of Trustees projects that the system will no longer be able to pay the full promised benefits by 2037.”
Undocumented immigrants paid an estimated $10.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2010, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy
, CNN reported. Those tax contributions will rise significantly if illegal immigrants are allowed to work in the United States legally, said Matthew Gardner, ITEP’s executive director.
When the IRS accepts income tax payments from illegal immigrants, it ignores crimes committed by an estimated 75 percent of illegal aliens who use fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers to get jobs and pay taxes, according to the Center for Immigration Studies
. It said: “Rather than turning the illegal aliens over to law enforcement authorities, the IRS protects the illegal aliens because, as a former IRS commissioner said: ‘We want your money whether you are here legally or not and whether you earned it legally or not.’"
According to the CIS, Treasury Department auditors say the favoritism the IRS shows to illegal aliens who are filing illegal tax returns includes allowing them to use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to obtain millions of dollars in deductions and credits, which they’re not entitled to receive because they’re non-permanent aliens.
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The CIS reported that in all 50 states, the average income of illegal immigrant households is far less than the average income for native households. It said on its website, “Even assuming that illegals pay all the taxes they are supposed to, given their average household income and size it is difficult for them not to create a significant fiscal drain.”
The federal government often pays refunds to illegal immigrants who file income tax returns, which it should not do because they’re working in this country illegally. FAIR reported a large portion of the revenues collected from income taxes paid by illegal immigrants are simply refunded to those people when they file their income tax returns. Many illegal immigrants also claim tax credits resulting in payments from the U.S. Treasury, FAIR added.
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