SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a bill that makes more income-eligible undocumented Californians able to get a tax credit designed for low-income earners.
Assembly Bill 1876 expands access to the California Earned Income Tax Credit, or CalEITC. Under the legislation, “all California tax filers, specifically undocumented ITIN filers who are otherwise eligible, may qualify for the CalEITC and the Young Child Tax Credit,” Newsom’s administration said in a release.
AB 1876 removes the requirement for an Individual Tax Identification Number, or ITIN, tax filer to have at least one child under the age of 6 to qualify for the state Earned Income Tax Credit. (The IRS gives ITINs to tax filers who are not eligible for Social Security numbers, which includes undocumented immigrants.)
An estimated 289,059 undocumented Californians lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, and immigrant women have lost their jobs at a disproportionate rate, according to the Newsom administration.
“Expanding the CalEITC will provide a critical boost to undocumented and mixed-status families across the state, stimulate the economy and make us all stronger in the face of economic uncertainty,” Newsom said in a prepared statement. “These Californians are taxpayers and should be treated like taxpayers, eligible for the same credits, and pay the same tax rates.”
The California Earned Income Tax Credit, established in 2015, is intended to be a supplement to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, which has been around for decades.
“The CalEITC is a proven tool to help fight poverty by providing economic stimulus directly to working individuals and families that spurs localized economic activity, yet it has historically left out 600,000 taxpaying immigrants, including 200,000 children from the benefits of this program,” said Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes, D-San Bernardino, in a statement. “Today, we bring inclusion and equity to this program by providing an opportunity to our immigrant communities to claim this tax credit as they are not able to claim other forms of federal relief and are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”