Undocumented Immigrants: Taxes

Source: https://itep.org/immigration/

Claims that the undocumented community slides by without paying taxes couldn’t be further than the truth. All immigrants, undocumented and those with status must pay taxes the same way citizens do. However, unlike citizens and residents, unauthorized workers do not qualify for the earned income tax credit, social security and other tax-related benefits. Even though they are unable to claim the benefits, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that about half of all unauthorized workers file and pay state and federal taxes.  

Unauthorized workers are encouraged to pay taxes to create a paper trail for possible future immigration benefits. By filing their federal and state taxes, immigrants begin to create a provable paper trail that could help them if they are ever able to apply for status.  

Unauthorized workers often use an IRS issued number called an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). ITINs are issued to people regardless of their immigration status. An ITIN does not give a person legal work authorization and does not provide eligibility for Social Security benefits, according to the IRS website. You can apply for the ITIN by: 

  • Seeking the services of an IRS-authorized Certified Acceptance Agent. This will prevent you from having to mail your proof of identity and foreign status documents.  
  • Make an appointment at a designated IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. This will also prevent you from having to mail your proof of identity and foreign status document  
  • Through the mail: 
  • Mail your W-7, tax return, proof of identity, and foreign status documents to Internal Revenue Service
    Austin Service Center
    ITIN Operation
    P.O. Box 149342
    Austin, TX 78714-9342 
  • You will only file a tax return to the address above once when you file Form W-7 to get an ITIN. In subsequent years, when you have an ITIN, you will file your Form 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ as directed in the form instructions. 

For more information visit the official IRS Site.  


Houston Resources: 

Tax Flyer

BakerRipley Tax Center 

BakerRipley Service Center offers free quality tax preparation for families and individuals earning up to $58,000. Free electronic filing is included, too. Twelve tax centers are available throughout Houston.  

  • Tax returns for 2012–2017 
  • Amended returns for 2012–2017 
  • Free e-filing & direct deposit 
  • ITIN applications and renewals (Service will resume January 25th, 2018) 
  • Affordable Care Act + Tax Guidance 
  • No appointments, walk-ins only  

For more information and for locations call (713) 273-3755, or visit them here.