Q: Citizenship and possible back taxes.
My citizenship interview is scheduled for September. I may owe taxes to the IRS.
1. My former husband and I had an installment agreement with the IRS. We divorced in 2018; the marriage settlement agreement states that “the debt to the IRS” (it doesn’t specify the amount owed or the year we entered into the installment agreement) is allocated to him. I do not know whether he has paid the debt in full. Should I be concerned? Should I bring the MSA to my citizenship interview? Should I try to get a copy of the installment agreement from my former spouse?
2. This year I filed for an extension with the IRS. I believe I don’t owe any taxes for the previous fiscal year. Should I still complete and file my 2018 tax return? If so, should I bring it to the interview?
The letter from the USCIS doesn’t ask me to bring any tax returns to the interview. Should I still do it?
3. How does USCIS know whether an applicant owes taxes given that it has no access to IRS’s records?
A: Yes, you should bring proof that you filed your tax returns, among other items, as mentioned. It’s unclear whether the documents will prove enough or even the subject of a request, but the examiner can make a request as a matter of discretion.
If asked for your tax returns, or proof of filing, you must tender verifiable documentation. It may seem rather hypocritical, perhaps, but it’s required that a naturalization applicant prove that they filed their income tax returns upon request.
Tax transcripts are best. If an applicant owes taxes, they may be denied as a matter of discretion.
If there are issues, perhaps undisclosed ones, then the decision may be delayed. Naturalization applicants can be referred to immigration court for deportation. Use care, so if you have other concerns, contact a competent and experienced immigration attorney before the exam. Good luck.
The above is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.