TAX ON IMMIGRANTS – To Be Or Not to Be?
President Barack Obama put Immigration issues in his legislative agenda for 2013. But in the immigration reform discourse shifted to Tax immigrants battle cry spearheaded by Republicans. As a result more of tax-related bugaboos are surfacing as people are guessing whether undocumented immigrants have to pay taxes to states or the federal government.
Now the Hametian question repeats-To be or not to be.
Meanwhile the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) worked into the issue to assess the hard truth whether undocumented families really pay taxes. According to ITEP, the illegal immigrants paid the same regressive taxes that affect low-income families at the state and local level. In fact, nationwide the undocumented families paid $11 billion in state and local taxes in 2010.
Sales and excise taxes are a problem for low-income taxpayers who do not depend on citizenship status for any goodies. Every time a a cup of coffee, or a pair of jeans is purchased or you fill up gas, local sales and excise taxes are paid by all.
The renters among them pay property taxes indirectly because landlords pass their property tax bills to their tenants in the form of higher rents. Some undocumented taxpayers have state income taxes withheld from their pay checks each year. Even if there were 47 percent of the population paying no taxes, undocumented immigrants would not be part of that.
Sop for Republicans
But some see the proposal of unpaid taxes collection from illegal immigrants as a gimmick to win over Republican as a pathway to citizenship for 11 million people.
The sharp amendment authored by Senator Orrin Hatch require illegal immigrants to pay back taxes before applying for citizenship. But critics frown the amendment saying it will scupper the bill. The Tax immigrants is unrealistic as an illegal immigrant who had been working in an underground economy cannot calculate unpaid taxes and shell out huge amounts to the government.