OAKLAND, CA - Some undocumented workers in California say they are filing income tax returns, hoping playing by the rules will be an eventual path to citizenship.
Isaias Aguilar, a 29-year-old Mexican not authorized to live and work in the United States, filed his first income tax return for work he did as a part-time TaeKwon-Do instructor in 2010 using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number rather than a Social Security number, the Contra Costa Times reported.
Oakland resident Aguilar owes $579, which he says is a wallop in the wallet, but he also says paying income taxes is a way of showing responsibility that might help him down the line.
"I don't know what's going to happen in the future," Aguilar said. "If something good will happen for immigrants, an amnesty, they're probably going to ask if I'm reporting my tax forms."
The Internal Revenue Service said 3.8 million returns were filed in 2009 using ITIN.
Accountants and tax officials allege illegal immigrants use ITIN the most but foreign investors use them as well, the newspaper said Sunday.
"The reason why the IRS does it is they want everyone to pay taxes," said Vanessa Muniz of the United Way of the Bay Area. "They don't care if you're documented or undocumented. They want everyone's money."