RIVERVIEW, Fla. — Immigrants in Florida make up just over 20% of the total population according to the Migration Policy Institute. For most, navigating a new country is difficult, especially when it comes to learning the financial system, like filing their taxes.

What You Need To Know

  • The owner of Mike Taxes Services says he has seen an increase in immigrants seeking help to file taxes for the first time
  • He said many immigrants can’t file their taxes because they don’t have the proper documentation
  • According to the IRS, to file taxes, a person must have a Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)

Things have been busy for tax preparer Miguel Solivan — some may say it’s his favorite time of the year, tax season.

“A lot of people are coming in asking questions about the refund and how that will be,” he said.

He’s been working in the tax industry for more than 20 years and is the president of his business, Mike Taxes. Solivan said he tries to help educate the Hispanic community, and he knows what it’s like to move to a new place, having moved to Florida from Puerto Rico in 2003.

Solivan said he’s seen firsthand the changes in the industry.

“It’s been many changes in the laws as far as having to do with the Hispanic people on taxes," he said. "But we have been doing our best, trying to do our best, a lot of challenges but we’re here."

Over the past few months, Solivan said he’s had to turn away at least five people a day because they don’t have the proper documentation to file taxes.

That would include having a Social Security number or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), according to the IRS.

“This is money that they’re earning, and it is running in the community, but it’s not taxing,” he said.

While most of the people do have driver's licenses or bank accounts, Solivan said it’s not helping. He said others who step into his office can’t file because they’re still in the process of receiving residency documentation.

Solivan said he thinks something should be done to get immigrants the help they need.

According to Solivan, it’s also been a challenge because for many immigrants it’s their first time filing taxes. That’s why he says he hopes to be that friendly face to help.

Solivan says he also advises his clients to get a work form filed by their employer to help with proof of work in the state.