[S]ome illegal immigrants choose to file taxes and write a check come April 15, using an alternative to the Social Security number offered by the IRS so it can collect income tax from foreign workers.Photo by paul stumpr. Licensed under Creative Commons.
"It's a mistake to think that no illegal immigrants pay taxes. They definitely do," said Martha Pantoja, who has been helping Hispanic immigrants this tax season as an IRS-certified volunteer tax preparer for the non-profit Nashville Wealth Building Coalition.
Among those she has assisted is Eric Jimenez, a self-employed handyman who has worked in Nashville for several years. He feels obliged to pay taxes — even though, as Pantoja said, "nothing would happen" to him if he did not.
"I have an idea, a mentality, that to be a good citizen you have to pay taxes," he said. "Also, I'm conscious of the fact that the money we pay in taxes supports the schools and all the public services."
Pantoja said she has helped a number of construction workers who, because they are classified as independent contractors by their employers and have no taxes withheld, owe big tax bills come April. Beyond income tax, they have to pay the full Social Security and Medicare taxes due.
The Social Security Administration estimates that about three-quarters of illegal workers pay taxes that contribute to the overall solvency of Social Security and Medicare.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The Associated Press interviewed Martha Pantoja, a volunteer tax preparer for the non-profit Nashville Wealth Building Coalition. According to the article, Pantoja said that illegal immigrants are among her Hispanic clients filing tax returns: