Thus, I would like to take the opportunity to remind our immigrant readers the importance of complying with the income tax filing requirements in order to preserve, or attain legal status in the future.
First, every lawful permanent resident (green card holders) or citizens of the United States is a U.S. tax resident. As such, you are required to report taxes in the U.S. on your worldwide income. Moreover, filing as a nonresident may result in a finding that you have abandoned your lawful permanent resident status. Permanent residents also have another good reason for complying with tax laws. When a permanent resident applies for naturalization, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will inquire about U.S. tax filings since becoming a legal permanent resident.
On the other hand, undocumented workers are also required to report income, and when necessary, pay taxes. Even when you don’t have a social security, are receiving cash payments, and are not officially on the books; you can use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to comply with this requirement. Considering a possible future immigration reform, it is crucial that undocumented immigrants file tax returns because they serve as proof of U.S. presence and good moral character.
Additionally, all immigrants with temporary visas that allow them to work in the U.S. should also file U.S. taxes.
For more information on the requirements of filing tax returns we recommend you contact a tax professional, or try the free services offered through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).