Featured Member – Ceiba
Ceiba is a non-profit organization in Philadelphia that promotes the economic development and financial inclusion of the Latino community. Ceiba provides immigrants with asset building services that include financial literacy, housing counseling, and free tax preparation assistance. Ceiba is the only community-based organization in PA designated by the IRS as a Certifying Acceptance Agent for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) applications. With ITINs, unauthorized immigrants are able to file a tax return. Since 2002, Ceiba has complete, 1,265 ITIN applications and filed 2,394 ITIN related tax returns. These ITIN tax returns have resulted in $2,835,489 in tax refunds and $718,200 in saved tax preparation fees, putting a total of $3,553,689 into immigrant households. Having an ITIN also helps unauthorized immigrant families:
– Apply for CHIP, SNAP, college financial aid etc. for US their born children. 47% of unauthorized adults live with their children and 73% of the children of unauthorized immigrants are US citizens by birth.
– Secure loans and mortgages at Community Development Financial Institutions like FINANTA and Community First Fund. To date more than 39 ITIN’s mortgages have been approved at FINANTA.
– Obtain a business license in Philadelphia. The City accepts the ITIN as a Tax ID number for business licenses.
– Demonstrate ‘good moral character’ for immigration applications.
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