Santa Cruz County, CA — Undocumented workers across Santa Cruz County have been disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as constant shut downs left them without a financial safety net to fall back on.
As the tax deadline gets closer, immigrant workers who pay their taxes through an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) are left to wonder if they can afford the cost of filing. As the leading human services agency in Santa Cruz County, Community Bridges is stepping up to fill the gap by offering immigrant families a fee-free way to renew or acquire a new ITIN and help families file 1040es, through their ITIN Project.
Funded by the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, this project aims to provide access to COVID relief support from expanded state and federal tax credits. Community Bridges is committed to serving 200 families across the county.
“It cannot be disputed that immigrant workers had to bear the brunt of pandemic-related health risks in order to keep our local economy’s afloat. We could not provide food for our families without their essential labor to ensuring the service industry was able to meet local demands. Even though we know they contribute millions in taxes, they have been ruthlessly left out of relief,” said Community Bridges CEO, Raymon Cancino.
According to the latest report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented taxpayers contribute over $21 million in state and local taxes. They also represent 10% of the workforce in California, where their labor has largely fallen into the “essential” category throughout the pandemic.
“We hope clients will take advantage of recent tax credits available to them. By providing assistance and saving them the fees, that may be a barrier to filling, we hope to draw more federal dollars that will allow local families to thrive and ensuring that available tax credits that they earned are also captured,” he continued.
Anyone needing to renew or those interested in applying for an ITIN can qualify for a free voucher for an ITIN submittal and a 1040ES tax application by contacting their nearest Community Bridges Family Resource Center.
For more information, visit: communitybridges.org
ABOUT THE FAMILY RESOURCE COLLECTIVE
The compassionate and knowledgeable staff at the four Family Resource Centers (FRCs) offer a warm, friendly, safe place for the Santa Cruz County community to access resources that offer stability and hope for the future. Bi-lingual and bi-cultural advocacy services meet the long and short-term needs of families at no or low cost. FRCs help our community access benefits and resources such as housing, employment, healthcare, disability, unemployment, immigration, mental health counseling, literacy education, youth tutoring, substance abuse recovery, domestic violence prevention, nutrition, and child care.
Watsonville: La Manzana Community Resources 521 Main St, Suite Y Watsonville, CA 95076
Live Oak: Live Oak Community Resources 1740 17th Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Felton: Mountain Community Resources 6134 Hwy 9, Felton, CA 95018
Santa Cruz: Nueva Vista Community Resources 711 E Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
ABOUT COMMUNITY BRIDGES
Community Bridges envisions a thriving community where every person has the opportunity to unleash their full potential. Together, our family of programs delivers essential services, provides equitable access to resources, and advocates for health and dignity across every stage of life. To learn more, please visit www.communitybridges.org. The Community Bridges family of programs includes the Child & Adult Care Food Program, Child Development Division, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), La Manzana Community Resources, Live Oak Community Resources, Mountain Community Resources, Nueva Vista Community Resources, Elderday Adult Day Health Care, Lift Line and Meals on Wheels for Santa Cruz County. ###