Most people find filing for taxes in the USA to be a difficult and stressful process. The whole process is very confusing and difficult. That is why most Citizens and lawful permanent residents use a tax accountant to file their taxes. The US tax system is even more daunting for immigrants newly arriving into the USA. It is however, one of the most important things that a person in the USA will have to do yearly.
Not paying your taxes could have a very negative impact on your status in the USA. For citizens, this could mean jail time. For lawful permanent residents, the US government may cancel your status as a lawful permanent resident. If the lawful permanent resident is applying for citizenship, not paying your taxes will probably lead to a denial of your application.
For married people, it is important to include your spouse when you file. Not doing so can affect the status of your spouse if it is your spouse that is an immigrant. For an immigrant in the USA with a K-1 spouse visa, it will be important to show that the marriage is a bona fide marriage. Filing jointly is one way to show that the marriage is real. Failure to do so may affect future applications for your spouse, such as when he or she files and adjustment of status to become a permanent resident or when he or she files for removal of conditions on residency.
Finally, filing taxes is important for even undocumented immigrants. This could be immigrants who overstayed his or her visa or who just entered the country illegally. Normally a person filing for his or her taxes needs a social security number. Since an undocumented immigrant does not legally have a social security number, the immigrant may obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN for short) from the IRS.
It is easier for an undocumented immigrant to avoid paying taxes since often time the immigrant is payed in cash. There are many good reason why the immigrant should not avoid paying his or her taxes. Especially if his or her goal is to become a documented, lawful permanent resident in the future.
One of the most important reasons why an immigrant either (lawful or unlawful) should pay their taxes to the US government is for the future. When the USA passes immigration reform in the future, millions and millions of unlawful immigrants may be affected. It is very possible that the US government will set a minimum number of years that the affected person must have established his or her physical presence in the USA. The individual may also have to show that he or she has good moral character. Having paid your taxes will greatly favor the affected person in a very positive way.
This is an immigration legal blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advice. For further information please contact the law offices of attorney Ramona Kennedy.
Ramona Kennedy (Attorney) received her Jurisprudence Doctorate in America and is a licensed attorney in California (USA). Ramona Kennedy is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ramona Kennedy is fluent in English and Farsi (reading & writing) & speaks Azeri Turkish.
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