“The right thing to do” – Md. Comptroller applauds passage of bill expanding Earned Income Tax Credit
MARYLAND – Thousands of low income Marylanders, including many undocumented people, can now apply for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). “They paid over $100 million in taxes last year and they’re neighbors of ours. They’re human beings. Some of them are legal. Some don’t have documents. But, they all pay taxes,” said Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot.
Previously, only people with a Social Security number could get in on EITC. Under the new law, tax payers who don’t have one can use an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) to apply. “We certainly should not discriminate between tax payers who have an ITIN number or ones that have a social security number. They pay taxes like the rest of us, and they deserve relief if they’re suffering,” said Comptroller Franchot.
Republican lawmakers had raised concerns over the financial burden the state could face if more people are able to get EITC. They say allowing more people into the program could cost the state as much as $60 million over the next three years. But Comptroller Peter Franchot says this isn’t a permanent measure. He adds people can use all the help they can get right now. “This is not raising your taxes. This is not spending huge amounts of money in the years after the recovery begins. It’s simply a one time only thing saying ‘You know what? Fiscally, economically, and morally, this is the right thing to do,'” said Comptroller Franchot.
Comptroller Franchot says he hopes expanding the eligibility will also make it easier for people to apply. The comptroller tells 47ABC the process often involves a lot of paperwork, and many people can’t get through it without help. “It’s just a bunch of bureaucratic briar patches that you jump into. If you don’t have expert assistance like an accountant or the federal or state non profits that we have helping people with that, you can’t really apply on your own,”