Healthy Families EITC Coalition’s Testimony To Support Massachusetts Bill S.2659 & H.4726: “An Act to Provide Equal Stimulus Checks to Immigrant Taxpayers”

On May 22nd, the Healthy Families EITC Coalition submitted a written testimony to strongly support Massachusetts Bill S.2659 & H.4726: “An Act to Provide Equal Stimulus Checks to Immigrant Taxpayers”. While the Federal CARES Act provided critical support in the form of rebates to taxpayers who have Social Security Numbers, it excluded those families in which any family member lacks a Social Security Number. This exclusion harms mixed-status families, including families with U.S. citizen children, many of whom have filed tax returns using an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) rather than a Social Security Number, as well as families composed of two ITIN filers. S.2659 & H.4726 would rectify this injustice by authorizing the Commonwealth to provide an equivalent rebate to these excluded taxpayers. The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center estimates that there are approximately 57,000 people in ITIN taxpayer households in the state, many of whom would be newly eligible for stimulus payments under S.2659 & H.4726. Swift distribution of these cash payments will provide essential assistance to families and individuals that are struggling in the wake of COVID-19 and mitigate financial circumstances that may threaten families’ ability to access basic needs necessary for their health and well-being.

We believe there is an urgent need to respond to the immediate and disproportionate threat of COVID19 among immigrant families. By ensuring ITIN filers are able to access a stimulus payment, we have an opportunity to improve the health, well-being, and economic mobility of families with children across the Commonwealth. We urge the Committee to swiftly and favorably report S.2659 & H.4726 out of committee.