Trenton – In response to countless tax-paying immigrants being excluded from the CARES Act, Senate President Pro Tempore M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Nicholas Scutari introduced legislation today to provide cash assistance for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) users.
“New Jersey’s undocumented immigrants contribute nearly $600 million in state and local taxes, in addition to their federal tax contributions, but still they are not receiving any help right now. They were intentionally carved out of the federal stimulus package and cannot access unemployment insurance, despite paying into it,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “If we are going to discuss reopening New Jersey we must have an honest conversation about how this crisis has impacted our immigrant community. They work in every industry and in every region of our state. While it would only assist 25 percent of our ITIN filers, this relief legislation provides New Jersey the opportunity to step in and begin to help where the federal government has failed.”
The bill, S-2480, would require the Department of Treasury to issue a one-time payment to ITIN filers, first prioritizing families with children. The bill appropriates $35 million for the program, which could help up to 35,000 residents.
“All individuals who pay taxes deserve to receive relief to help get through this difficult moment in time. Countless people who contribute to our state’s economy and pay into our system should be entitled to benefit from the systems they pay into,” said Senator Scutari (Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “These are our neighbors and friends, and hardworking members of our workforce. This legislation will provide much needed financial support during these unprecedented times.”
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number is a tax processing number issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Since 1996, the IRS has issued ITINs to taxpayers and their dependents who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security number. The number allows individuals to pay federal taxes regardless of their immigration status.
California, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington, have taken steps to provide financial assistance for ITIN filers. Several cities and counties across the country have also advanced similar measures.