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Worried about N400 denial because of mistakes on taxes

Discussion in 'US Citizenship' started by carmen299, May 18, 2009.

  1. carmen299

    carmen299 Registered Users (C)

    My husband has his interview scheduled for June 22nd. I was very excited, until I started to do some research on the interview process and reasons for denial. I figured my husband would be approved with no problems, but I read that tax errors is a reason for denial. Now, I am scared that he will get denied...or worse deported.
    What happened is that I have been filing our taxes for the past 5 years or so. But, just realized that I have been filing them incorrectly. I have been filing single for both of us, when I should have done married filing seperately. I'm guessing that the IO will pick up on this error and deny him. Will they deport him over something like this? Or will they report us to the IRS? I know I should have had a professional do out taxes, but we are not able to afford them. So, I just used online tax prep and filing.....I thought I was doing it right. I think we can live with a denial, but deporation will be devistating to us and the children.
    Any words of advise? What are the chances that they will pick up on this? Any feedback is appreciated :eek:
  2. sarrebal

    sarrebal Registered Users (C)

    It's a mistake, but most likely it has been a mistake for your finances.
    Given the same level of income, single people have a higher tax liability than married people.
    So you probably paid more taxes than what you were supposed to.
    Why would you even put single? I mean, somebody doesn't need to be a CPA to check the right box about your marital status. Even if you file separately, you are married.
    Anyways, just explain this to the I/O, he should understand.
  3. WBH

    WBH Registered Users (C)

    Is your husband's application based upon three-year marriage? If so,
    IO may question about his marriage since why he puto down single on tax form. Other than that I don't see any problem, at least no problem
    that can lead to deportation
  4. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    No. Generally, married filing separately pays more tax than single. It is when you compare single with married filing jointly that the single person pays more tax (of course, there are numerous exceptions).
  5. sarrebal

    sarrebal Registered Users (C)

    Given the same income and same other conditions, how can a married person pay more tax when the standard deduction is higher?
  6. carmen299

    carmen299 Registered Users (C)

    This raises another question......We both have been married three times...to each other, no one else. I know how it sounds....It's my little Jerry Springer story;)
    We were married from 1996 to 1999, from 2005 to 2006, then again in 2007. This was disclosed on the N400 application. I can admit that the divorce in 2006 was a mistake on my part and I did it out of haste and anger, instead of working on the issue at that time. So, now I'm wondering if they could deny him because although we have been "technically" married for a total of 5 and-a-half years, they may only consider the date of the last marriage, which is only 2 years. We have been together, on and off, for 13 years. If I knew in advance that all of these things would be considered for naturalization, I may have done things differently.
  7. WBH

    WBH Registered Users (C)

    He means married but filing seperately may pay higher taxes.
    Maybe laws punish those who are married but do not live together
  8. sarrebal

    sarrebal Registered Users (C)

    They may pay higher taxes than married filing jointly, but not than single filers.
    However, if both spouses have both 6-figure income it might make sense to file as separate (but still married).
  9. sarrebal

    sarrebal Registered Users (C)

    You need to be married for the last 3 years.
    If that requirement is not met, then you will certainly be denied.
  10. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    Denial may be possible, but deportation won't happen unless the IRS files criminal charges for tax evasion and there is a conviction. And they rarely go that far unless the money is in the millions and/or there was an obvious and deliberate attempt to evade taxes.

    But what you need to do now is get an accountant to help with filing amended returns and figuring out the difference to be paid (if any) to the IRS, before the IRS notices it on their own and initiates an audit and assesses penalties. Meanwhile, at the interview your husband should avoid bringing up this issue unless specifically asked.

    It probably is not possible to file the amended return and pay the back taxes before the interview. However, it may be possible to avoid an outright denial and get the interviewer to delay the decision until the tax issue is cleared up. At the interview, if questioned on the tax issue, he should show that he is in the process of refiling and should produce a letter from the accountant saying that returns have been analyzed and the estimated back taxes amount to $X, which he plans to pay by date XX/XX/XXXX, and ask for a re-interview after that date or at least an opportunity to submit a copy of the amended return and proof of payment.
  11. ksam

    ksam Registered Users (C)

    when did your husband get his greencard? if its more than 5 years ago, then he can ask the IO (at the time of interview) to change the basis from married to citizen - 3 years TO 5 years as LPR.
  12. carmen299

    carmen299 Registered Users (C)

    I believe he became a PR in 2004.
  13. carmen299

    carmen299 Registered Users (C)

    So, what I did can be considered tax evasion?!
  14. ksam

    ksam Registered Users (C)

    the exact date is important here. The Resident since date on the card and n400 filing date are important for 90 days before completing 5 years as LPR rule ... so check that. If you filed more than 90 days (before completing 5 years as LPR) and the latest marriage date is only 2 years they may deny and ask him to re-apply when he becomes eligible ...
  15. Jackolantern

    Jackolantern Registered Users (C)

    Very unlikely, assuming you reported all your income, didn't try any illegal creative tricks to reduce your taxes, and the amounts involved are not massive (like in the 100s of thousands). But you'll probably have to pay interest and penalties if you do owe back taxes.

    Now you need to find out the exact date he became a permanent resident and the exact day he filed the N-400, to figure out if he is eligible to use the 5 year rule (he needs at least 5 years minus 90 days as a PR as of the filing date).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2009
  16. WhichWay2Go

    WhichWay2Go Registered Users (C)

    It could be if the IRS find it and check it out. They may deem it evasion. It depends on the amount of money involved.

    As has been suggested, do not mess with this further yourself. Get a CPA to go through all returns and begin the process of lodging amended Returns for all years. You could get the CPA to write a letter stating that you realized an error and now have him correcting things.

    Far better to beat the IRS to the jump and get those amended Returns (and checks if any) in the mail. I'd be more worried about the IRS than the USCIS interviewer on this subject.

    People who do their own Taxes remind me of the Lawyer who defends himself, "he has a fool for a client."

    The CPA fees are deductible so it is a win-win situation.

    p.s. No, I am NOT a CPA but I always have one do my Taxes.
  17. carmen299

    carmen299 Registered Users (C)

    He does fall under the 5 year LPR. That's good news!
    I have just heard so many horror stories about being denied for the smallest things, I am really paranoid now. We have made our mistakes in the years past, but all in all I would consider ourselves of good moral character. I just hope the IO sees it that way too:(
  18. carmen299

    carmen299 Registered Users (C)

    Thanks whichway2go, and jackolantern.
    I may follow your advise and get to the problem before the IRS does. Chances are, I would end up owing, but probably nothing over 8,000 to 10,000. Lesson learned! :rolleyes:
    I did not know CPA fees are deductible.......good info
  19. So_Special

    So_Special Registered Users (C)

    Well, the first question is what is the basis of your husband's naturalization application? If based on marriage then it's an absolute must that you ammend your tax returns. Acc to my attorney, you can ammend your returns and take them to the IRS office and have it date stamped. If you owe, then you have to enter into an agreement to pay back your overdue taxes + interests retroactively. If you dont owe then you take a copy of the ammended tax returns to the interview with you.

    I strongly recommend you do that to avoid his application being denied. Filing the wrong status in your returns is ground for denial though not removal. If application is based on marriage, rest assured you will have to provide copies of your returns.

    If his app is based on 5yr GC, then its a 80/20 based on whether or not he's had a corporate type job where this taxes are withheld by his employer. If self-employed then you need to sign off the board now and head down to the IRS office.
  20. carmen299

    carmen299 Registered Users (C)

    Fortunately, He has been employed with the same employer for 5 years as of April of this year. So, if he is filing on the basis of 5 year LPR, they may not check to see that we are married via tax returns, is that what you're saying? Regardless, I plan on ammending our previous returns just to avoid problems with the IRS.

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