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Why Is It Important for Immigrants to File Tax Returns?

Why Is It Important for Immigrants to File Tax Returns?

According to the Pew Research Center, about eight million immigrants with no legal documentation were in the American workforce as of 2014. Almost half of those immigrants, or about 3.4 million individuals, paid Social Security taxes in 2014. Although the most recent figures are from 2010, unauthorized immigrant workers and their employers paid $13 billion in payroll taxes that year. Some immigrants are afraid to file income tax returns out of fear that the federal government will use their personal information to deport them. However, there are some real advantages for immigrants who file their state and federal income tax returns. First, federal and state laws require that individuals with earned income over a certain threshold to file tax returns annually. Some immigrants simply try to abide by the law and fulfill their financial responsibilities. If an immigrant does appear in front of an immigration judge in deportation proceedings, the fact that he or she has dutifully filed his or her income tax returns, as well as lived and worked in the country for a long time, in certain cases can help make a stronger case for the immigrant to remain in the country. Next, an immigrant may be entitled to an income tax refund. Whether an immigrant is undocumented or not, he or she should be subject to tax laws like any other citizen. If an immigrant has overpaid in taxes based on the amount of taxes that his or her income requires, then he or she is entitled to a tax refund. By applying for and obtaining an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an immigrant can not only file an income tax return, but also can claim any tax refund to which he or she is entitled. Additionally, immigrants should not generally fear that filing an income tax return will result in their personal information being shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Federal law generally prohibits the IRS from disclosing a taxpayer’s personal information, even to other agencies. The only exception might be if a federal court ordered the IRS to disclose the information in connection with a criminal investigation. Even as you continue to work and file income tax returns, we know that deportation is an issue that is constantly lurking in the back of your mind. If you are facing deportation, don’t lose hope. The deportation defense attorneys of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. know how to help you through every step of your deportation proceedings. Take the first step today toward securing the future of your family in the United States, and call our office at (510) 756-4468 to set up a legal consultation with one of our highly skilled immigration lawyers.

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