President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for 2018 prevents illegal immigrants from claiming two major tax credits for low and middle income people, according to White House documents released Tuesday morning.
The $4.1 trillion budget would restrict eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit to taxpayers “who are authorized to work in the U.S.,” MarketWatch reported.
The changes are part of a larger restructuring of programs for poor Americans, which the administration wants to overhaul in order to balance the budget in 10 years without changing Social Security or Medicare. The White House estimates tightening eligibility rules for the two tax credits will save about $40 billion over a decade.
White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says it’s unfair to legal residents that people in the U.S. without authorization are eligible for the same tax breaks.
“How do I go to somebody who pays their taxes, and say, ‘Look, I want you to give this earned income tax credit to somebody who’s working here illegally’? That’s not defensible,” Mulvaney told reporters Monday. “And it’s a reasonable accommodation to simply ask them for Social Security numbers.”
The EITC is a benefit for people with low to moderate income, and provides a guaranteed tax credit to households even if they have no reportable income. The Child Tax Credit is also a refundable credit that provides families up to $1,000 per child under 17.
To receive the EITC, workers must provide the IRS with a social security number. The refundable portion of the child tax credit, however, only requires an individual taxpayer identification number, which the IRS assigns to workers who are not authorized but need it to report taxable income.
The administration did not specify how the tighter eligibility rules would be enforced, other than to say the benefits would be limited to people who are authorized to work in the country, the Washington Examiner reported.
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