Earned Income Tax Credit Expansion Quietly Becomes Law

    An expansion of Maryland’s Earned Income Tax Credit passed quietly into law when Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) allowed the bill to take effect without his signature.

    Senate Bill 218 extends the tax credit to people who pay taxes using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 tax years. That group of taxpayers, which includes undocumented immigrants, certain survivors of domestic violence and student-visa holders, have been excluded from previous state and federal aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The bill passed the General Assembly largely along partisan lines late last month, with most Democratic lawmakers in favor and most Republican lawmakers opposed.

    If the governor does not sign a bill presented to him during the legislative session within six days, it becomes law without his signature. That deadline passed on Friday.

    The bill also includes a child tax credit for people who make a federal adjusted gross income of $6,000 or less and have dependents with disabilities under the age of 17. That tax credit is equal to $500 for each eligible dependent.

    The bill was originally introduced by Sen. Nancy J. King (D-Montgomery) as a child tax credit measure, but was amended in the Senate to expand the EITC to ITIN filers after an attempt to do so as part of a billion-dollar state stimulus plan faltered.

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    Danielle E. Gaines
    Danielle Gaines covered government and politics for Maryland Matters for two years before moving into an editing position. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post ― as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at The Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.