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GreyGhost

Interview - no Tax Returns

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Long story short. Had business, money, properties... lost everything, ended up homeless. For almost a year. Survived. Sent N-400 and had FP done and received an e-mail notifying me I'd soon have an interview scheduled (e-mail came a few days ago).

What can I tell them? Truth of course. So, here is the truth:

- I made $0.00 in last three years but I received $40,000.00 gift from a friend two years ago and while livign out of that money I have,

- published two tech publications with two different co-authors, both American experts at the very top of their games (Ph.D.s, fantastic references),

- started a serious Hollywood deal (no money yet - its in development phase) with real people at the very top of the holy woods,

- developed a new business and recently even made few bucks and am looking for funding given how big the projects we're working on are.

Bottom line -- I've not been a bum during the last three years; a "bum" in a sense that I have not cried over my sad destiny but have worked very hard, fought like a maniac and now can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But, no tax returns and no money.

What to expect?

Edited by GreyGhost

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I don't see why you would have any issues from telling the truth - if you're not eligible to file a tax return then you don't need to, I'm sure someone else will have more advice about this (that you can file even if you don't need to). You can explain about starting a business, publishing works etc... The point is that you've been spending the time productively and not engaging in criminal activity or not declaring income from earnings... So I'd take along proof (as much as can be shown) of what you've accomplished over the last couple of years, and the tax returns that you do have previous to that to show that when you do have income that you pay your dues to the Government.

Good luck at the interview :)


AOS: ND - June 5 2006 | RFE - June 15 2006 | FP Notice - June 30 (Rescheduled to Sept 16) | AP ND - August 14 2006| Walk-in FP - Sept 5 (FP cleared next day!) | Interview - Sept 8 2006 (Approved!) | Welcome Letter - Sept 13 | EAD received - Sept 19 (kinda moot since I'm waiting for GC) | GC received - Sept 23 2006 - Woohoo!!

I-751: 06/10/08 Mailed package to VSC direct (per memo instructions) not TSC. The wait begins... | 06/11/08 Package received at VSC (12.12pm) | 06/19/08 Check cashed | 06/20/08 Received NOA1 in the mail - ND is 06/17/08 | 07/10/08 Received Biometrics Appt Letter - ND is 7/7/08 | 07/22/08 Biometrics (had to do ink & paper also...) | 07/22/08 Touched | 07/23/08 Touched | 02/11/09 Transferred to CSC (got email)... | 02/12/09 Touched | 02/20/09 Touched (but no email) | 03/24/09 Approval letter arrives in the mail! Approval date is 3/18/09 from VSC | 04/03/09 Received card, postmarked 3/31 from CSC

N-400: 06/11/09 Mailed to Lewisville Lockbox | 06/12/09 Package received at Lockbox and signed for at 1.31pm | 06/18/09 Check Cashed | 06/19/09 NOA, PD 06/12/09 | 07/06/09 Biometrics letter received, ND is 07/02/09 | 07/24/09 Biometrics appointment | 08/06/09 IL received, ND 08/03/09 | Interview 09/14/09 at 9.30am (approved!) | Oath 10/21/09 | USC

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: India
Timeline
Long story short. Had business, money, properties... lost everything, ended up homeless. For almost a year. Survived. Sent N-400 and had FP done and received an e-mail notifying me I'd soon have an interview scheduled (e-mail came a few days ago).

What can I tell them? Truth of course. So, here is the truth:

- I made $0.00 in last three years but I received $40,000.00 gift from a friend two years ago and while livign out of that money I have,

- published two tech publications with two different co-authors, both American experts at the very top of their games (Ph.D.s, fantastic references),

- started a serious Hollywood deal (no money yet - its in development phase) with real people at the very top of the holy woods,

- developed a new business and recently even made few bucks and am looking for funding given how big the projects we're working on are.

Bottom line -- I've not been a bum during the last three years; a "bum" in a sense that I have not cried over my sad destiny but have worked very hard, fought like a maniac and now can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But, no tax returns and no money.

What to expect?

Are you applying based on a 5 year permanent residency or using a married-to-USC - 3 yr. residency? If you are applying based on 5 year permanent residency, they don't ask for tax returns, do they?

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Are you applying based on a 5 year permanent residency or using a married-to-USC - 3 yr. residency? If you are applying based on 5 year permanent residency, they don't ask for tax returns, do they?

5 yr. permanent residency. I do not know what they ask.

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Filed: Other Timeline

Dude,

the truth will set you free. N-400 isn't about affidavit of support, it's about being a permanent resident for the past 5 years who didn't commit a crime, speaks English, understands English, and is able to answer 10 questions.

You don't have a problem with USCIS.


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Colombia
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If you donor didn't pay income taxes on that $40K gift, you do, they get you one way or the other. Really don't have to earn any money to file a return, can put in all zeros for income, but show your deductions. Been filing returns for my step daughter, with part time jobs, just so she can get ten bucks back. Required evidence is in the M-476 manual, download and read it.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: India
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If you donor didn't pay income taxes on that $40K gift, you do, they get you one way or the other. Really don't have to earn any money to file a return, can put in all zeros for income, but show your deductions. Been filing returns for my step daughter, with part time jobs, just so she can get ten bucks back. Required evidence is in the M-476 manual, download and read it.

Per M-476:

"If you have ever failed to file an income tax return since you became a Permanent Resident, send:

All correspondence with the IRS regarding your failure to file.

If you have any federal, state or local taxes that are overdue, send:

A signed agreement from the IRS or state or local tax office showing that you have filed a tax return and arranged to pay the taxes you owe; and

Documentation from the IRS or state or local tax office showing the current status of your repayment program."

As NickD points out, even if your income was 0, the law requires you to file taxes. To that end, you may want to file your returns for the last few years anyway (note that given, based on what you mention, you don't owe any taxes, IRS cannot assess a penalty and you should perhaps be OK (per my non-professional understanding of tax laws) - and thus you will have actually filed your taxes to satisfy USCIS). The taxes on the $40K gift, of course, could be an issue - regardless, strongly suggest you actually talk to a tax professional on this matter.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Moldova
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If you donor didn't pay income taxes on that $40K gift, you do, they get you one way or the other. Really don't have to earn any money to file a return, can put in all zeros for income, but show your deductions. Been filing returns for my step daughter, with part time jobs, just so she can get ten bucks back. Required evidence is in the M-476 manual, download and read it.

Per M-476:

"If you have ever failed to file an income tax return since you became a Permanent Resident, send:

All correspondence with the IRS regarding your failure to file.

If you have any federal, state or local taxes that are overdue, send:

A signed agreement from the IRS or state or local tax office showing that you have filed a tax return and arranged to pay the taxes you owe; and

Documentation from the IRS or state or local tax office showing the current status of your repayment program."

As NickD points out, even if your income was 0, the law requires you to file taxes. To that end, you may want to file your returns for the last few years anyway (note that given, based on what you mention, you don't owe any taxes, IRS cannot assess a penalty and you should perhaps be OK (per my non-professional understanding of tax laws) - and thus you will have actually filed your taxes to satisfy USCIS). The taxes on the $40K gift, of course, could be an issue - regardless, strongly suggest you actually talk to a tax professional on this matter.

I'm not sure this is all correct.

On the gift - as far as I know, the gift tax is the responsibility of the giver, and if the tax is not paid, the giver has a problem with the IRS. The recipient is not responsible, even if the tax was not paid. And, there is no gift tax unless the giver's lifetime gifts are huge - more than $1,000,000. Gifts are not reported as income.

Second, unless the law is different for LPRs, it does not require you to file a tax return if you have no income. The 1040 instructions for last year, for example, require filing a return if you are married filing jointly and have an income of greater than 17,900 (if under 65). You are also required to file a return if a lot of other things have happened, but it is certainly not the case that everyone has to file a return.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Colombia
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If you donor didn't pay income taxes on that $40K gift, you do, they get you one way or the other. Really don't have to earn any money to file a return, can put in all zeros for income, but show your deductions. Been filing returns for my step daughter, with part time jobs, just so she can get ten bucks back. Required evidence is in the M-476 manual, download and read it.

Per M-476:

"If you have ever failed to file an income tax return since you became a Permanent Resident, send:

All correspondence with the IRS regarding your failure to file.

If you have any federal, state or local taxes that are overdue, send:

A signed agreement from the IRS or state or local tax office showing that you have filed a tax return and arranged to pay the taxes you owe; and

Documentation from the IRS or state or local tax office showing the current status of your repayment program."

As NickD points out, even if your income was 0, the law requires you to file taxes. To that end, you may want to file your returns for the last few years anyway (note that given, based on what you mention, you don't owe any taxes, IRS cannot assess a penalty and you should perhaps be OK (per my non-professional understanding of tax laws) - and thus you will have actually filed your taxes to satisfy USCIS). The taxes on the $40K gift, of course, could be an issue - regardless, strongly suggest you actually talk to a tax professional on this matter.

I'm not sure this is all correct.

On the gift - as far as I know, the gift tax is the responsibility of the giver, and if the tax is not paid, the giver has a problem with the IRS. The recipient is not responsible, even if the tax was not paid. And, there is no gift tax unless the giver's lifetime gifts are huge - more than $1,000,000. Gifts are not reported as income.

Second, unless the law is different for LPRs, it does not require you to file a tax return if you have no income. The 1040 instructions for last year, for example, require filing a return if you are married filing jointly and have an income of greater than 17,900 (if under 65). You are also required to file a return if a lot of other things have happened, but it is certainly not the case that everyone has to file a return

At the advice of our AOS IO, read the instructions for both the I-751 and N-400 some five years ago to be prepared. While our daughter could tailgate her mom on the conditional residence, could not for citizenship. Kind of told me to file income taxes for her, even though her income was so low, just a part time summer job kind of thing. Not because it required by the IRS, according to their rules, she had to earn quite a bit more money before she was required to file. But did it to make the USCIS. She will have 3 years of tax returns for her interview sometime next August.

You can bring in a 1040 instruction book and show them you were not required to file and see what happens, I try to avoid ####### like that, it's hell living in a country, I am a natural born USC, where you have to deal with some odd 1,525 different government agencies, always having similar battles between the FCC and the FAA, or the EPA and the DOT, but that's a different very long story. Just try your damned best to keep everyone happy.

Regarding your gift, that is between you and your donor, but one of you had to pay taxes on the amount. Damned taxes.

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Thank you all -- I do not want this to become a "gift" related discussion so to make this even more complicated :) -- the "gift" came from abroad as an investment, from a foreigner to my company. Investment for sure is not income, neither company's nor personal and obviously there's no subsequent incomes yet. However, my friend has his other businesses in the USA and says that he does not want to be on any papers (like 50% ownership in the company etc.) so I can take this a gift and once I am back on my financial feet we'll see how to deal with my profits if there would be any. I am sorry I wasn't clear in my initial post -- I did not feel the nature of the monies received is of big importance.

I have my issues with IRS resolved and papers to show it. I might just be embarrassed that I have no income at the one side of the problem and at the another I really worry could that be a (real) issue with USCIS.

My residency is a result of my high profile political asylum case at that time so all my dealings with them were not quite normal. And now this, income issue that makes me slightly nervous.

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Filed: Other Timeline

Hi Greyghost,

Sorry to hear about your situation, especially during these hard economic times. Understandable there. If it makes you feel any better, likewise, I'm in a similar situation, where I do not make any income ($0) over the last three years, since I've been here in the USA, as I've been a homemaker and stay-at home mom all these years. Lol..and yes, that is a full time job in itself, with rewards other than monetary-wise..no bumming around for me either! Taking care of the household is work already!

As well, I have filed no income tax returns with the IRS, as legally I was not required to do such, with no income (lol.they can't tax anything on nothing, right?). As well, my husband's income is legally non-taxable either. Therefore, our household does not have any tax returns, which is perfectly fine and legal to do. Lol..Why bother dealing with the IRS when we legally don't have to?

So in lieu of tax returns and/or other tax information, I did the following when I submitted my original N-400 applicaton (applied based on marriage):

Lack of Joint Tax Returns

20-21) Note/Letter and Additional Legal Evidence to explain Non-Filing of Income Taxes for Ant and D

(with additional information from the IRS backing this statement up)

22-24) D’s Income Payment Letters/Statements

Like you, I have recently filed for my N-400 and likewise, have my interview scheduled soon next month (November 2009) too. So if they ask about the tax returns, I just say that I don't have any, and point to the evidence that I have sent already, explaining such. I don't have taxes, I dont file tax returns..end of story...lol...

As well, I myself did not submit any tax returns and/or other tax information for my AOS or my I-751 case, and was still approved for those. I just explained my situation, and they were ok with that. Hopefully, this holds true for the N-400 as well.

Lol..Frankly, they can't go against someone who isn't legally required to file taxes. That would be discrimination, wouldn't it? There is no law that says that one can't have US Citizenship, just because they have no income!

The bottom line: If you are not legally required to file tax returns, then you don't have to do such. Just explain in detail to the USCIS as to why this is such the case, then you should be ok there. As well, show them proof of what you've been doing for the last few years since you've been here in the USA, to show that at least you've been trying to do something or other, despite bad economic times and/or personal circumstances.

Now, if you're legally required to pay taxes, and you don't do such...That could get you into trouble...So yes, do tell the truth about that, even if it means telling them that you owe taxes (which won't be used against you either, as long as you have some sort of installment plan statement with the IRS or other tax agency, or something like that).

Hope this helps. Good luck with the rest of your journey too.

Ant

Long story short. Had business, money, properties... lost everything, ended up homeless. For almost a year. Survived. Sent N-400 and had FP done and received an e-mail notifying me I'd soon have an interview scheduled (e-mail came a few days ago).

What can I tell them? Truth of course. So, here is the truth:

- I made $0.00 in last three years but I received $40,000.00 gift from a friend two years ago and while livign out of that money I have,

- published two tech publications with two different co-authors, both American experts at the very top of their games (Ph.D.s, fantastic references),

- started a serious Hollywood deal (no money yet - its in development phase) with real people at the very top of the holy woods,

- developed a new business and recently even made few bucks and am looking for funding given how big the projects we're working on are.

Bottom line -- I've not been a bum during the last three years; a "bum" in a sense that I have not cried over my sad destiny but have worked very hard, fought like a maniac and now can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But, no tax returns and no money.

What to expect?

Edited by Ant+D+A

**Ant's 1432.gif1502.gif "Once Upon An American Immigration Journey" Condensed Timeline...**

2000 (72+ Months) "Loved": Long-Distance Dating Relationship. D Visited Ant in Canada.

2006 (<1 Month) "Visited": Ant Visited D in America. B-2 Visa Port of Entry Interrogation.

2006 (<1 Month) "Married": Wedding Elopement. Husband & Wife, D and Ant !! Together Forever!

2006 ( 3 Months I-485 Wait) "Adjusted": 2-Years Green Card.

2007 ( 2 Months) "Numbered": SSN Card.

2007 (<1 Months) "Licensed": NYS 4-Years Driver's License.

2009 (10 Months I-751 Wait) "Removed": 10-Years 5-Months Green Card.

2009 ( 9 Months Baby Wait) "Expected": Baby. It's a Boy, Baby A !!! We Are Family, Ant+D+BabyA !

2009 ( 4 Months) "Moved": New House Constructed and Moved Into.

2009 ( 2 Months N-400 Wait) "Naturalized": US Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization. Goodbye USCIS!!!!

***Ant is a Naturalized American Citizen!!***: November 23, 2009 (Private Oath Ceremony: USCIS Office, Buffalo, NY, USA)

2009 (<1 Month) "Secured": US Citizen SSN Card.

2009 (<1 Month) "Enhanced": US Citizen NYS 8-Years Enhanced Driver's License. (in lieu of a US Passport)

2010 ( 1 Month) "Voted": US Citizen NYS Voter's Registration Card.

***~~~"The End...And the Americans, Ant+D+BabyA, lived 'Happily Ever After'!"...~~~***

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