Can the IRS arrest in the airport non-citizen for failure to file income return?

Asked over 3 years ago - Boston, MA

Mywife lived in the U.S and left more than 10 years ago, she was a student and in her last year she worked full time, however she never filed any tax return and left the following year, wanting to go back now on a business trip, the question is can the IRS arrest her in the airport for this ?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Eric P Rothenberg


    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . While the answer is that they could possibly arrest her but what I believe you are asking is if that's even a remote possibility. I don't think so, First, it's easy to find out before she comes what is the status of taxes (criminal and civil) by hiring an attorney and giving them a Power of Attorney form properly completed. Second, in 35 years I've nver heard of the IRS arresting anyone at an airport but the myth of the government possibly doing so persists, especially with foreigners where their governments behave differently than the IRS does. I believe she could readily clear this all up with no threat of criminal prosecution at all.

    I'd be happy to help out.

    Eric P. Rothenberg, Esq.


    Legal disclaimer: Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency

  2. Rain Levy Minns

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . Yes, she can be arrested. But, the next issue is about how likely that would be to happen.

    Is there any reason to believe that the IRS has been investigating her or believes that she has unpaid taxes? Is she planning to regularly have business in the U.S.?

  3. Henry Daniel Lively

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . An arrest is possible since not filing a tax return is a crime. You should contact a tax professional to clear up this matter. Then you will not have to worry about the issue.

    Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response... more

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