A new Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) report concludes that undocumented immigrants living here in the U.S. pay out an estimated $11.64 billion in annual taxes.
ITEP officials found the payments come in the form of both state and local taxes, detailing how group members shell out an average of about 8 percent of their incomes in its “Undocumented Immigrants’ State & Local Tax Contributions” themed study.
Half of Undocumented Immigrant Households File Taxes
“The best evidence suggests that at least 50 percent of undocumented immigrant households currently file income tax returns using Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs), and many who do not file income tax returns still have taxes deducted from their paychecks,” the report added.
Researchers added from among the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants estimated to be living in the U.S. as of 2013, $6.9 billion payments come from sales and excise taxes, $3.6 billion comes from property taxes and the remaining $1.1 billion comes from personal income taxes.
The estimated 8 percent tax average paid by undocumented immigrants is well above the average 5.4 percent paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers.
The study also concluded that if all of the undocumented immigrants were granted legal status and allowed to be legally employed their respective state and local tax contributions would increase by around $2.1 billion annually and the nationwide tax rate would jump by nearly 9 percent.
Supreme Court Considering President’s Executive Actions on Immigration
The Supreme Court is now weighing the legal merits of President Obama’s 2012 and 2014 executive actions that granted millions of undocumented immigrants temporary relief from deportation and supplied many of them with work permits.
If the court finds in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) their ruling could make way for an increase in tax contributions from the 5 million undocumented immigrants who stand to benefit.
“Due to the mandates of the executive actions and the strong incentives undocumented immigrants have for compliance with the tax laws, it is also logical to assume full tax compliance for this impacted population,” researchers concluded.
Immigration reform has become a hotly contested issue this election season with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump vowing to deport million of immigrants if elected, while Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have both pledged allegiance to a plan of immigration reform.