Employed immigrants, regardless of status or documents used to acquire employment, are required to file taxes. Service providers working with the foreign-born can offer tax assistance preparation and support as their clients work to fulfill this federal requirement. Those without a Social Security Number can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to use when filing taxes. Please see the federal government’s resources on applying for and using the ITIN below.
Assisting immigrants in applying for and using an ITIN is a powerful way of encouraging a culture that promotes immigrant integration within your agency. Naturalization applicants are required to show good moral character, and demonstrating through their tax history that they have complied with federal and state tax filing requirements is a great way to meet this requirement. Big changes to immigration legislation in the future will likely require applicants to prove good moral character and that they have been filing tax returns. Encouraging potential applicants to file now will help them be ready when a bill passes.
Resources from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Applying for and Using an ITIN:
- 2013 ITIN Updated Procedures Frequently Asked Questions 
- Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) 
- Número de Identificación Personal del Contribuyente  (ITIN)
- Información General sobre el ITIN 
For more information and ideas on promoting immigrant integration within your community, please see CLINIC’s Building Welcoming Communities  webpage. You may also contact Leya Speasmaker at firstname.lastname@example.org  with any questions or comments. For more information about preparing for legalization, contact Michelle Sardone, CLINIC’s Legalization Program Director, at email@example.com .