The Importance of Filing Taxes When It Comes to Immigration Relief

We cannot tell our readers how important paying taxes play in obtaining an immigration benefit.  In fact, taxes are so important that our firm has networked with a reputable accounting firm.  Since we use a client’s taxes when submitting applications for several types of relief, the taxes must be done correctly.  It is crucial to find a knowledgeable accounting firm.

We talked with one accounting firm who did not know that that those without authorized employment could file taxes.   When we informed the accountant (and owner of the firm) about an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), he said, “but how can [foreign nationals] work without lawful employment.  That is illegal!”  It was quite concerning that this accountant, who had been in practice for decades, knew nothing of the IRS’ ITIN procedure implemented in January of 2013.

In another instance, a potential client was an employer, who was concerned about employing foreign nationals who did not have work authorization.  He wanted to protect his business and was looking for a new accountant because his current accountant chided him for employing “illegal aliens.”  When we referred the caller to the accounting firm, the caller said, “are you sure that I can tell the accountant that I employ illegal aliens?”  We reassured the caller that the accounting firm could handle any matter.

In another case, a client came to us having never filed taxes because he “did not have a social security number.”  We informed him that he could obtain an ITIN which would allow him to pay taxes then referred him to the accounting firm.

In another instance, a client’s accountant marked that one spouse was “single” (to reap a tax benefit) on several of the couple’s tax returns.  At the time, the couple was applying for a marriage-based green card.

In another case, the accountant did not list the name of a child born to the marital couple, because the child was conceived during a one-night stand.
In another instance, a client bought a social security number and presumably never told the accountant that he purchased the social security number.  The accountant filed the client’s taxes for years.

Other clients come to us saying “we didn’t make enough so we didn’t file anything.”  Even if you did not make enough, you should still file something with IRS verifying the above.

The list goes on and on.  What is important to realize is the benefit that paying taxes can yield.   First, there is no better evidence of showing physical presence in the U.S. than tax transcripts.  Applications for Cancellation of Removal, Lawful Permanent Residence, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and Naturalization are just a few types of relief that require proof of physical presence in the U.S.

In several cases, a couple is separated and been living apart for more than 6 months, yet the accountant lists that they are married and filing jointly.  Yet all of the other documentation shows the couple is separated.  This problem arises both at the green card stage and at the naturalization stage (when the adjudicator revisits the green card application).

As you can imagine, all of the above examples (take from actual client cases) cause serious problems for our clients.  However, in each and every instance listed above, we were able to address the issue with the help of the accounting firm.

The Social Security Agency reports notifies the IRS of names and numbers that do not match up (e.g. in cases where relatives allow family members or friends to use their social security numbers to file taxes).  The IRS is aware that it is processing tax returns with false W-2 information.  Presently, the IRS is looking for a way to address the issue of illegal immigrants using others’ social security numbers without discouraging them from filing taxes.

Takeaway Message:

Find a reputable Certified Public Accountant to prepare and file your taxes.  Tell the accountant the truth about your family, whether you are living together without your spouse, are going through or will be going through a divorce, if you have worked out of state, etc.

For the company that we refer to our clients, we know that not only will our client’s taxes be done properly to make sure they receive the maximum tax benefit, but also that we can use the taxes when applying for an immigration benefit.  Although we refer all clients to the accounting firm, we are happy to refer all potential clients as well.

We offer a free case evaluation by phone. We are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm and Saturday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. In-person consultations are by appointment only. Please call our office at 301.529.1912 or click here to contact us. Please be sure to provide a timeline of events along with details of your entire immigration history.