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“There are two things you can not avoid in life - death and taxes.” These were words from one of my father’s sermons when I was growing up. I think about them at this time of year as I am getting ready to file my own taxes and to prepare taxes for Spanish-speakers. It makes me think about the necessary services which are paid by our taxes.

With recent tax cuts, which are permanent for corporations and the rich, and temporary for the rest of us, some of us will pay more in other ways. The lowest income Americans will receive a tax cut of about $60 a year. However, they will pay in reductions in Medicaid, food assistance, and other programs that are their safety net and that they need to survive.

Neither party talks about the poor, but prefer to talk about the middle class. As we have increased national disasters and demands from the President and his party to build a border wall, our representatives voted to cut taxes, mainly on the rich. The poor will pay for “tax reform” the most.

There’s a misconception that undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes. As a tax preparer I can attest that this is not true.

Taxes are withheld from everyone’s paychecks, regardless of immigration status. The difference is that illegal immigrants will never receive benefits for Social Security taxes of the approximately $13 billion paid each year into Social Security by the undocumented.

Many immigrants file taxes to obtain the amount of taxes they overpaid and receive a refund. However, there are others who do not file taxes or receive refunds due to fear that information will be shared with ICE.

We ought to remember that we are a nation of immigrants, even (or especially) at tax time.

Kris Gannett-Sanchez, Mason City


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