Illegal Immigrants Pay $11 Billion in Taxes a Year

Monday, April 25, 2011
Unlike certain corporate powers that make billions of dollars and pay no taxes, illegal immigrants generate billions of tax dollars for state governments.
The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy has concluded that unauthorized immigrants paid $11.2 billion in taxes last year. This total included $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $8.4 billion in sales taxes. 
States that gained the most revenue from illegal immigrants paying taxes were California ($2.7 billion), Texas ($1.6 billion), Florida ($807 million), New York ($662 million), and Illinois ($499 million). They were followed by Georgia ($456 million), New Jersey ($446 million) and Arizona ($433 million).
-Noel Brinkerhoff
General Electric Doesn’t Pay Taxes; Why Should You? (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


Dam Ba 12 years ago
i am the great-great-great gandson of the american revoluton. i am in my sixties and over the years i have met a lot of illegal immigrants. because of health problems, i have been renting from them for the past several years...3 differnt neighborhoods. they have a tight-knit community, always sticking together, rarely do they do the right thing, as far as the adherring to our rule of law. they seem nice. but, this is not about that; it is about the rule of law; are we going to make them 'exceptions', and put our nation on the slippery slope where the point that exceptions end and corruption begins, gets blurred? isn't that the problem we face; not becoming like mexico, not their good ways, but their bad ways; now, if we succumb, out of political correctness to amnesty, or a reform that is essentially amnesty, are we not putting the usa on that same slippery slope that mexico is on?
reality 12 years ago
christian, lets do the math with your numbers. 428 billion of 13.6 trillion is ~3% of gdp in 2006 seems like a lot. but, tax liability of 50 billion over 7 years, i.e. 7.14 billion/yr. lets just take 2006's 7.14b/428b=1.6% tax, yeah they are really contributing to our nation...and considering they consume over twice the amount paid in taxes in social services (data directly from centers for immigration services) we should, according to you and dr. ford, be letting any and all illegal immigrants into our country. pull your head out of your ass and realize that it's people such as you who attempt to justify an illegal act that ends up costing real tax payers. my remedy to this problem is a special tax for illegal immigrant sympathizers such as yourself which will cover the cost of these people you defend. i wonder if you would be singing the same tune.
Brad 12 years ago
i don't understand why the government does not pursue companies that fail to pay their fair share. you make some valid points but if the company knowingly hires an illegal why would they send their payroll deductions into the state or federal governments. i personally think the business should be held fully accountable. i as a business owner have been asked repeatedly by prospective employee's if i would pay them under the table. these are everyday us citizens. they wish to not have their pay recorded so they wont lose any of their welfare benefits or to prevent their baby mommas from collecting child support. stop chasing the people and go after the business and fine them to recover the cost of enforcement and i bet the situation would improve.
Essex 12 years ago
what part about 'illegal' do people not understand. given that thru are 'illegal', i would have liked to see a follow on to this study showing the benefits illegal aliens receive and how that is implying our country. i'm sure $11 billion doesn't cover the tab.
Christian 12 years ago
 fox news' the o'reilly factor, host bill o'reilly and cnn host lou dobbs made the point that illegal immigrants "dodge taxes," with o'reilly expressing his belief that the idea that they pay taxes is "crap." the effect of this constant bombardment of false information has confused a good portion of the public. according to an abc news/washington post poll, a third of all americans stating that the biggest worry about illegal immigrants [is] that they “used more public services than they pay for in taxes.” anti-immigrant proponents, such a glenn beck, rush limbaugh, o’reilly, dobbs and the “patriot” mark levin have done an excellent job confusing the public; making them believe that illegal immigration has a negative economic impact.  when in fact, the truth, which is the exact opposite and all of them know it; yet they continue to obfuscate the truth and misdirect the public. consider this: acording to the congressional budget office and the social security administration, undocumented immigrants pay many different types of taxes, including sales, property, and social security taxes individual income, the most ignorant anti-immigrant radio or tv personality knows that the  1996 welfare reform bill disqualified illegal immigrants from nearly all means-tested government programs including housing, medicaid and medicare-funded hospitalization assistance and even food stamps, the only services that illegal immigrants  can still get is k-12 education and emergency medical care. the influx in payment of taxes began in earnest in 1996, when the irs created nine-digit individual taxpayer identification numbers (itins),  it was designed to enable the irs to track the tax returns of those who are ineligible for a social security number.  it is believed that most taxpayers who use itins are illegal immigrants although a small portion of legal residents also has them.the social security administration estimates that about seventy five percent (75%) of illegal workers contribute to the overall solvency of social security and medicare by paying taxes. "about $75 billion in wages from people who filed w2 forms with incorrect or mismatched data, about $9 billion in taxes was paid." in 2005 the agency estimates that on about $75 billion in wages from people who filed w2 forms with incorrect or mismatched data, about $9 billion in taxes was paid. this amount would include illegal immigrants using fake names and social security numbers. although the influence on social security is considerable because most of the money received is never claimed by the illegal immigrant who pays into the system.  instead of the money returning to the rightful owner, it is used to cover the deficit in retirement checks payable to legal workers. they concluded that with high immigration the ssa's combined trust fund would be exhausted in 2043 and if the immigration numbers were half the amount, the fund would run out four years earlier. congressional hearing in 2006 then irs commission mark everson told congress "many illegal aliens, utilizing itins, have been reporting tax liability to the tune of almost $50 billion from 1996 to 2003." even with hard numbers and facts verified by our own government anti-immigrant proponents continue to mislead the public. "(illegal immigrants contribute $428 billion dollars to the nation’s $13.6 trillion gross domestic product in 2006." dr. william f. ford a professor at tennessee state university and  an expert on immigration and taxes assesses that (illegal immigrants contribute $428 billion dollars to the nation’s $13.6 trillion gross domestic product in 2006.) “if anything we need more immigrants coming into the country, not less, especially with the baby boomers retiring,” said ford in an associated press article
Christian 12 years ago
20-30% of each pay check any week is withdrawn regardles of ssn validity or tax id no tax refunds and no pension collected !  george w. bush wants to privatize social security because he believes it will become insolvent if nothing is done. some of the people who are doing something about it are undocumented workers. there is a myth that undocumented workers don’t pay taxes and use services costing the united states billions.a dirty little secret is that undocumented workers not only pay taxes but also contribute to social security – and will never collect a dime.since companies require a social security number in the hiring process, undocumented workers often provide fake numbers. both the company and the workers contribute to these fake accounts, which end up in the coffers of the social security administration. some undocumented workers pay as much as $2,000 or even more every year to social security and medicare.since there are an estimated 11-20 million undocumented workers in the united states, their contributions reach about $20billion a year. this amount is about 10% of last year’s surplus for social security, the difference between what the system receives in contributions and what it pays out in benefits. the money contributed by undocumented workers goes into the “earning suspense file” since it cannot be determined who sent it in. in the past two decades, the fund has grown to nearly $200 reason why social security is benefiting so much from the work of undocumented workers is that they come here to work. and they do work.most undocumented workers have no idea why money from their paychecks is withheld. but they don’t care. they’re not here for benefits, but rather for jobs.they are not planning for retirement; they need to work now. in a way, the “suspense file” is taxation without representation. yet, undocumented workers are not getting much sympathy. most americans view them as uninvited guests who use valuable resources and cost the country billions.the reality is more complex because undocumented workers contribute in “hidden” ways to americans’ standard of living.their unintended contributions to social security are just one hiring undocumented workers, companies pay less for labor and that inevitably generates savings. these savings are inevitably passed on in one form or another to consumers. just as they subsidize social security, undocumented workers also subsidize the cost of food and other basic services for the average american. however, undocumented workers don’t come without a cost. the federal government spends billions as it tries unsuccessfully to prevent people from crossing illegally into the united states.once in the country, undocumented workers eventually need healthcare and social services.given their insecure immigration status, undocumented workers do not join unions to negotiate for higher salaries and better working conditions. the “ghost” of the immigration and naturalization system (ins) is ever-present. deportation will mean another $2,000 to $3,000 to a smuggler in order to get back into the country.their weak position means that companies do not have to provide benefits – and taxpayers are forced to pick up the tab. in essence, taxpayers end up subsidizing companies that hire undocumented workers.yet americans don’t get angry with these companies. they direct their anger at the workers; and some use this anger for their political advantage. unfortunately, politicians’ talk of immigration reform is not going anywhere since many political leaders reflect the popular idea that undocumented workers should not receive “amnesty” because that would encourage more illegal immigration.but with or without immigration reform, people will continue to come to the united states as long as companies keep hiring them

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