Ceiba Supports Families Transitioning from ITINs to Social Security Numbers

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Ceiba congratulates tax clients Rodolfo and Maribel for their dedication to building financial literacy while transitioning from their ITINs to Social Security numbers. 

When Rodolfo, Maribel and their two children first came to Ceiba in 2008 they filed their tax return using the Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) issued to them by the IRS. Ceiba was happy to assist their family with free tax preparation services again in 2009. 

During this time Maribel and Rodolfo became regular participants in Ceiba's workshops for immigrant families. These workshops provided their family and other participants with information about IDA savings programs, health insurance and food stamps for US-born children, energy savings, the uses of an ITIN number, and immigrant and workers' rights. 

In 2010, Rodolfo and Maribel and their two children applied for visas through a Philadelphia non-profit legal services agency. The process was made easier by the fact that they already had their tax returns prepared and ready to present to immigration. Their visa applications were approved in less than 6 months, and their new immigration status allowed each of them to get a Social Security number. 

In 2011, Ceiba helped Maribel and Rodolfo declare their 2010 income under their new Social Security numbers. Ceiba also helped them amend their previous tax returns according to IRS guidelines. As ITIN holders, the family had been ineligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). With their Social Security numbers, they were able to amend three prior-year returns and claim the EITC for a significantly greater refund. Those refunds will help Rodolfo and Maribel pay for their daughter's tuition when she starts college in 2012. They are also planning to put some of those funds towards their long-term goal of buying a house.