Potential Immigration consequences against noncitizens residing and earning income in the United States who failed to pay taxes, meet income tax reporting requirements, or committed a crime related to tax fraud or tax evasion.
In general, immigration consequences related to a noncitizen residing and earning income in the United States is dependent on the noncitizen’s legal status or benefit the noncitizen is seeking to obtain. Although there are other tax related implications that could result in fines or potential imprisonment if a tax law is violated, in an immigration law context, consequences can stem from a denial of an immigration benefit to potential deportation of a noncitizen from the United States .
Tax Fraud or Evasion
The biggest issue presented to noncitizens convicted of tax fraud or evasion is that such a conviction can lead to potential deportation or denial of a sought after immigration benefit based on a conclusion that the fraud is deemed an aggravated felony or crime involving moral turpitude.
If the conviction is for a tax fraud or evasion related offense that requires elements of fraud or deceit it will likely be considered a crime involving moral turpitude. If the conviction resulted in a loss of $10,000 or more to the government, the crime may be considered an aggravated felony. Convictions of either types of crimes can lead to disqualification from many immigration benefits, including eligibility for green cards, and citizenship. Furthermore, noncitizens, present in the United States in a legal status, could be subject to deportation and potentially disqualified from applying for certain types of relief from deportation. You can read more about crimes involving moral turpitude and their potential effects here. You can ready more about aggravated felonies and potential effects here.
Such a conviction will certainly disqualify a legal permanent resident from seeking citizenship. First if the conviction occurred within five years of filing the application, or three years if legal permanent resident status was obtained from marriage to a U.S. citizen spouse, the citizenship will likely be denied if considered a crime involving moral turpitude and definitely denied if considered an aggravated felony.
Furthermore, if the citizenship application is denied, the noncitizen can be placed in removal proceedings regardless of when the conviction occurred. Depending on when the conviction occurred or if the conviction was for an aggravated felony, the noncitizen may be barred from seeking relief from removal. You can read more about deportation proceedings here. Finally, the citizenship application could also be denied even if not considered a conviction or where the conviction occurred outside the five- or three-year time frame for simply violating the requirement that the legal permanent resident comply with tax payment and income reporting laws.
Failing to pay taxes or report income to the IRS
This failure will not be considered a deportable offense and won’t lead to automatic disqualification of a green card. However, if the Legal Permanent Resident fails to pay taxes or report income, the Resident will certainly have his citizenship denied regardless of when the failure occurred. Fortunately, the Immigration Service can forgive such failure if the Resident can prove to the adjudicating officer that efforts are being made to correct the failed filing and to pay back taxes that were never paid. Furthermore, an immigration officer will likely be satisfied if the past due taxes are paid overtime as long as an agreement with the IRS can be provided.
Tax Fraud or Evasion
Clearly, tax fraud or evasion cases that result in convictions have more clear direct consequences against noncitizens whether it is the automatic disqualification from an immigration benefit to potential deportation. However, where tax fraud or evasion was for a conviction that is not considered a crime involving moral turpitude or aggravated felony, or where there was no conviction, but the officer is aware that fraud was committed, although there might not be direct consequences, an immigration adjudicator is well within his discretion to conclude that the noncitizen does not deserve the benefit because of the fraudulent act.
Failing to pay taxes or report income
Also similar to tax fraud related cases where there is no conviction or the conviction is not considered a moral turpitude offense or aggravated felony, the immigration benefit sought could still be denied by the adjudicator out of discretion believing that the noncitizen does not deserve the benefit or similarly does not deserve the benefit because failing to pay taxes is an indicator that the noncitizen disregards U.S. laws and may violate other laws in the future. Additionally, if the noncitizen is facing deportation for an unrelated violation, when seeking relief from removal, such an application for relief from removal can lead to a denial similarly because the noncitizen does not deserve approval of the immigration relief sought.
FREE Visa Resources
Click on the buttons below in order to claim your free Visa Guide (E-1, E-2, TN, EB-5, H-1B, L-1, PERM, NIW, EB-1, O-1, E-3), sign up for our free Webinar, join our Facebook Group, or watch our videos.
Set up a Visa or Green Card Consultation
For a dedicated one-on-one consultation with one of our lawyers, click on the button below to schedule your consultation.
This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising. Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed. Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.