Monday, July 28, 2014

U.S. Senators urged to reject federal Child Tax Credit legislation

U.S. Senators urged to reject federal Child Tax Credit legislation
Miranda says bill would disproportionately penalize Latino families

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Rep. Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix (District 27), today urged Arizona’s U.S. Senators to use their influence to stop H.R. 4935, the Child Tax Credit Improvement Act of 2014, after it passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives on a vote of 237-173. The bill now faces Senate consideration.

“Overall, this legislation will hurt Latino families,” Miranda said. “It appears to target the Latino community and other immigrants by requiring social security numbers for a taxpayer to be eligible for the child tax credit. It effectively will make millions of families ineligible for the child tax credit, just because they are immigrants.”

The child tax credit is only available to taxpayers who are working, earning an income and raising children. Currently, individuals with an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) can qualify for the child tax credit but under section 3 of the proposed congressional bill, they would no longer be eligible. Only those with social security numbers would qualify for the child tax credit. The types of taxpayers that typically utilize ITINs versus social security numbers are primarily noncitizens. Domestic violence victims sometimes also utilize ITINs out of privacy concerns.

“The child tax credit is a powerful tool in combating poverty. It helps families, which are struggling to pay the bills, keep more of their income to meet basic needs. Effectively singling out immigrant families and penalizing them under our tax code is unfair and inhumane,” Miranda said.

Experts estimate that 4.4 million Latino children will lose eligibility for the child tax credit under the proposed bill and 80% of the families adversely impacted by the policy change would be Latino.

“I thank Congressmen Pastor and Grijalva and Congresswoman Kirkpatrick for voting against this dangerous bill. I urge all of our congressional delegation to reject this attempt to use the tax code to target and disadvantage Latino families,” Miranda said.

“Congress should be passing laws to help the economy rebound, not hurt those families that are hardest hit by the recession,” Miranda said.

There is one provision in the bill that Miranda favors and that is indexing the amount of the child tax credit to inflation so that the amount increases each year to keep pace with the rising cost of living.

“I think it would be best for Congress to go back to the drawing board on the child tax credit issue and focus on good provisions, like the inflation issue, that help all families,” Miranda said. “Arizona’s families deserve a no vote from their congressional representatives on this bill.”


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