SOMERVILLE– State Representative Christine P. Barber (D-Somerville & Medford) filed legislation to provide state-funded financial support to immigrants who were excluded from the federal s8mulus bill, in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Rep. Barber recently filed HD5036, An Act to Provide Equal S3mulus Checks to Immigrant Taxpayers with State Representa8ve Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-PiXsfield). This bill would provide a state-funded s8mulus check to MassachuseXs ITIN holders who file taxes but are not eligible to receive federal relief under the recent Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
ITINs (Individual Taxpayer Iden8fica8on Numbers) are issued by the IRS for tax filing purposes
to individuals who are ineligible for Social Security Numbers. ITIN filers include undocumented immigrants and other vulnerable groups who pay taxes through alterna8ve means. There are an es8mated 57,000 ITIN filers in MassachuseXs, yet the CARES excluded ITIN filers and their families from receiving cri8cal s8mulus checks. Families in which one member files their taxes with an ITIN, even if the other members are U.S. ci8zens or otherwise file with a Social Security Number, are also excluded from the s8mulus funds–a significant issue which this legisla8on would also address.
“It is important for our state to step up to fill this gap le^ by the federal s8mulus bill,” said State Rep. Barber. “These are our neighbors–members of our community who are paying their taxes but have been excluded from the financial assistance that has been cri8cal for so many. This bill aXempts to level that playing field to ensure that no members of our Commonwealth are le^ behind during this crisis.”
Rep. Barber is working with partners including the Welcome Project, the Brazilian Workers Center, the MassachuseXs Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coali8on, the MassachuseXs Law Reform Ins8tute, and the MassachuseXs Budget and Policy Center, and others to advance this legisla8on. This bill is currently before the Joint CommiXee on Revenue.