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Filed my taxes as single while married, do I need to amend before my naturalization interview?

New York, NY |

My husband and I got married end of 2008. We filed our 08 taxes as single, since at that time we both thought we could, since we were single most of the year (i now know this is incorrect).
Now, 3 years later, I have to go to my naturalization interview (I am a green card holder, husband is American). They asked me for my tax returns for the last 3 years. Do you recommend I amend our taxes for 08 before my interview? Is it possible to amend taxes 3 years later? would it help or hurt to amend it? Please let me know. Thanks for your help.
Note: our 2009 and 2010 taxes were files as married filing jointly.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Yes. You should amend. Your interview aside, if audited, you return is incorrect which could result in an increase in the period of time you can be audited on the return, as well as penalties and interest. Go see you tax person.

This is not specific legal or tax advice. My posting this answer is for general, non-specific information only. My answering this quesiton does not establish an attorney-client relationship,

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Posted

Big problem. You should amend tax returns for sure.

Be prepared to explain how and why you made such a big mistake.

You could be accused of marriage fraud to obtain immigration benefit. You definitely need a lawyer to go to your interview with you.

I hope you get a nice immigration officer who is sympathetic to your mistake.

In addition, you also misrepresented a fact to the IRS. Make sure to amend the returns with the help of qualified CPA who can also help you understand what action IRS might take.

Madan Ahluwalia
Attorney
www.ahluwalia-law.com
(408) 416-3149

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1 comment

Karin Wolman

Karin Wolman

Posted

Mr. Ahluwalia makes an excellent point, although I believe it is more pertinent to tax benefits, but that can still have a negative impact on assessment of "Good Moral Character" which is required for the whoel 3 year period. In addition to amending the 2008 return, it is essential to make it clear to the interviewing officer that you and your spouse were both under a mistaken impression, and that the filing was not based on any intent to misrepresent your marital status in order to gain a tax benefit or an immigration benefit.

Posted

You need to file amended tax returns reflecting accurate information for purposes of your upcoming naturalization application as well as to avoid potential issues with the IRS.

973-473-6889 Joseph Cella, Esq. has been practicing Immigration Law for 19 years. The answers provided herein neither constitute legal advice, nor create an attorney/client relationship.

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Posted

You need to speak with a qualified tax professional regarding the law of tax return filings.

However, married taxpayers can choose between filing a joint tax return or a separate tax return. The Married Filing Jointly filing status provides more tax benefits than filing separate returns, but taxpayers will need to weigh the pros and cons and decide for themselves which is the best filing status.

If you are married, then you and your spouse can filing a Joint tax return or a Married Filing Separately return; but not "Single". You are considered married if you are legally married on the last day of the year. In order to file jointly, both you and your spouse must agree to file a joint tax return, and both must sign the return. Married Filing Jointly (MFJ) provides more tax benefits than filing a Separate return.

973-473-6889 Joseph Cella, Esq. has been practicing Immigration Law for 19 years. The answers provided herein neither constitute legal advice, nor create an attorney/client relationship.

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