For immigrants arriving in the United States, the U.S. tax system can be very confusing, says CitizenPath. In fact, the U.S. tax system is so complex that most Americans born in the country, are experiencing difficulties with the submission of documents every year. Generally, U.S. tax law applies to you if you live in the United States, or host on their territory a considerable amount of time.
In the United States, anyone with income above a certain level must file a tax return. This is not so in all other countries of the world. In many countries, the government withholds taxes from payroll checks, and an individual never have to directly submit a Declaration of income tax. The internal revenue service (IRS) is the U.S. Agency responsible for collecting taxes.
Regardless of whether you are a lawful permanent resident or an immigrant without documents, it is important that you get a General idea about their obligations for filing tax returns.
What if you are a foreigner or non-resident
The IRS uses two tests — test green card test and substantial presence — for assessing your alien status. If you meet the requirements of any of them, the IRS considers you a resident alien for income tax purposes; otherwise, you are treated as a non-resident alien (note: these conditions are intended only for tax purposes and do not imply an immigration benefit).
If you have a green card, you are a foreigner. If you do not have a green card and you have spent at least 31 days in the United States during the current tax year and 183 days over the last three tax years (including the current tax year), you usually satisfy the requirements of physical presence and also treated as a resident alien.
As a foreigner resident, you are subject to the same tax rules as U.S. citizens. This means that you must enter all the income in the annual tax returns, regardless of the country in which you earn money. The nonresident alien must also pay income tax to the IRS, but only on the income that is effectively connected with the United States and generally includes money you earn while in the United States. All of this can be tricky. If you are not sure you understand the system properly, contact a tax specialist.
Why is it important to properly execute tax data
You can lose your status as a lawful permanent resident depending on how you served (or not served) taxes. It also affects your ability to be naturalized as a citizen of the United States.
There are a few common ways taxes can affect your permanent resident status. First, you may have some tax advantages to filing as a nonresident, but it can negatively affect your immigration status. The IRS has its own way of calculating who is considered a resident or a nonresident alien individual (as described above). Filing taxes with the IRS as a “non-resident” can make the government believe you live in another country and refused permanent residence in the United States. Before you apply as a non-resident, talk to an immigration attorney.
Similarly, paying taxes in another country can create the assumption that you live in the country. One of the methods of the disclosure of this issue is the interview with representatives of customs and border control (CBP) upon re-entry to the United States. The CBP officer may ask if you received income or paid taxes in another country. If CBP determines that you live in another country, you may find yourself in immigration court proceedings concerning the removal from the United States.
Overview of tax history in naturalization
Of course, maintaining your permanent resident status is essential for naturalisation as a citizen of the United States. Failure to provide the tax data may adversely affect your ability to naturalize. In addition, eligible for naturalization requires that you have demonstrated good moral character. When you prepare form N-400 “Application for naturalization” you will be asked specific questions about filing taxes. If the Service of citizenship and US immigration services (USCIS) believes that you somehow have avoided their tax obligations, it is likely to reject the statement based on the requirements of moral character.
If you are planning to apply for naturalization in the past had not filed tax returns or paid taxes, you can solve this problem. Create a payment plan (so-called compromise proposal), along with the IRS and start making payments. At the interview for naturalization show the USCIS officer their letter to the IRS, detailing the payment plan and receipts of the payments already made under the plan.
If you have an expired green card
If the expiration date of your green card has expired, you are still a permanent resident of the United States. You have the same obligations for filing tax returns. Update your green card by completing form I-90 “application to replace the card of a permanent resident”. If you are behind in the payment of taxes, it will not affect the renewal of your green card, but can affect future immigration benefits. So take action, by contacting a tax specialist and/or developing a payment plan with the IRS.
The rejection of a green card may require the payment of a tax exile
If you are considering the possibility of giving up the green card of the USA and moving to another country, talk to a tax specialist about the consequences. Each year, some permanent residents file the Form I-407 to voluntarily give up the status of a lawful permanent resident in the United States. Despite the fact that this solution can be some tax advantages, there are also high tax costs. The exit of the U.S. tax system requires the payment of tax on emigration (Exit Tax).
Include the spouse in the tax documents
Taxes can also affect individuals who have recently immigrated to the U.S. as a result of marriage to a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. If you have recently arrived in the United States as the fiancé/fiancée or spouse K-1, you must file a joint return with your spouse. When completing the form I-485 for adjustment of status based on marriage you must prove that the marriage is bona fide. You will need to submit some documents as proof of the authenticity of the marriage, the tax documents are crucial. USCIS will review your tax return (for any of the respective years) to confirm that they were filed jointly.
After two years as a conditional resident, you must submit form I-751 to remove the conditionality from your status. Again, you must prove that you and your husband are in this marriage. Presentation of jointly filed tax return is significant evidence that must be included in the petition the I-751.
Even undocumented immigrants have to file taxes
Immigrant without documents — is any person who has entered the United States without inspection or overstayed a visa. But even if a person has no legal status, he is still obliged to pay taxes. Immigrants, undocumented, it is often easier to avoid income tax. In the end, payments are often made in cash. But you can pay income tax even without a social security number. You can obtain an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) by the IRS to file your taxes.
If you have no documents, you have good reasons to pay taxes. Paying taxes falls under the concept of good moral character is a criterion for obtaining various immigration benefits. If in the future you will qualify for these immigration benefits, payment of taxes will strengthen your moral qualities.
Cancel their deportation from the country
In some cases, undocumented immigrant can obtain a green card due to the cancellation of the expulsion from the United States. Certain individuals may be eligible for cancellation of removal after they were deported. This right is available to non-permanent resident of the United States with any immigration status that meets all the following requirements:
live (physically present) in the United States for at least 10 years; and
during this time was a man of good moral character; and
not been convicted of certain crimes or violated certain laws; and
deportation may result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to the spouse, parent or child of an alien who is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
As a rule, the successful cancellation of the case on deportation also leads to the fact that the immigrant receives a green card. However, things can be more complicated than just meet the requirements. The number of available green cards is limited, and the judge in immigration Affairs has the right to make such decisions at its discretion. Thus, providing sufficient evidence (including taxes) is a good start to demonstrate that you are honest and deserve to be allowed to stay in the U.S. and obtain a green card.
Filing taxes can play a role in the future of immigration reform
There is the possibility of a future immigration reform that will one day affect millions of undocumented people in the United States. It is expected that after its adoption, two of the main obstacles to be eligible for lawful immigration will be the physical presence and good moral character. History of tax returns filed is a proof of both these requirements.
The income requirements for sponsoring family members
If you want to help a family member immigrate to the USA and get a green card, you will need to act as a sponsor and file form I-864, “Affidavit of support”. This document is required for most family immigrants and some prospective immigrants based on employment to show that they have adequate means of financial support and is unlikely to become a burden to society. This is a contract between the sponsor and the U.S. government in which the sponsor promises to support the future immigrant, if he or she is unable to do it yourself.
As a sponsor, you must provide proof that your income is at least 125% of the Federal poverty level (with some exceptions). Federal tax returns filed with the IRS, is your historical proof of income.
Help with tax preparation
Not everyone is obliged to submit a tax return annually. The amount of income you can receive before filing the tax return depends on the type of income, your age and your filing status. In IRS publication 519 “Tax guide for immigrants” discusses many of the common tax issues for immigrants. If you are unsure of your obligations, several resources are available:
The internal revenue service
Some individuals may have the opportunity to prepare and submit a tax return via the web site of the IRS.
Prepare taxes online
Private companies, such as TurboTax.com H&R Block and TaxSlayer.com offer specialized software services for tax preparation data. Depending on your tax claims, charges will vary. In some cases, you can prepare for free.
Personal tax preparation available in different variants. Large systems, such as Liberty Tax, H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt, have offices throughout the United States. Small businesses with experienced certified public accountants (CPA) and registered agents (EA) are also usually nearby. For example, MYRA offers tax preparation and other services for immigrant families.
Many people who are unable to register for taxes in the past, glad to know that they should get a tax refund after they finally submit the documents. Regardless of your immigration status, it is important that you get a General idea of your tax obligations and how they affect you, on the basis of immigration law. And as always, if you are not sure how your actions will affect your immigration status, contact the experts.
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