I am getting ready to file my N-400 and am excited to finally be doing it! I have definitely put it off longer than necessary, I moved to the US with an IR1 Visa (obtained via marriage to US Citizen) about 8 years ago.
After going through the entire application, I am wondering about one part of it that may be an issue but I hope isn't. In Part 12, Questions 6-8, there are some questions about US taxes. I definitely do NOT owe any taxes, either federal, state, or local, so I'm all set for question 6. However, I am a bit behind in filing taxes, specifically I haven't yet filed for the last 3 years (I know, I know, shouldn't have waited so long), which could be an issue for question 7A, which asks if I have ever failed to file a tax return. So here are my 2 questions:
1) Since I know for 100% sure that I am owed a refund for ALL the tax years I haven't filed yet, and since the statute of limitations for filing to claim a refund has not yet expired on any of them, then maybe I am not yet considered to be someone who has "failed to file a tax return"? And I can just choose "No" for question 7A? After all, there is no penalty whatsoever from the IRS or most states for not filing a tax return, if you are owed a refund, as long as you do it by the 3-year statute of limitations deadline which has not yet passed. And of course, I will definitely be filing in time to claim my refunds. Besides which, it seems the entire point of these questions is to catch people who actually owe tax, or people who filed/considered themselves as non-residents.
2) Even if I DO need to answer "yes" to question 7A- perhaps this doesn't matter at this point, and I can go ahead and file without worrying? Remember, I will be able to select that I don't owe any taxes in question 6, and for questions 7B and 8 I will be able to select "No" about considering myself a non-resident. So will I have a problem at all applying with those answers, or is it a big problem to apply if you haven't yet filed some tax returns, even if you are owed a refund and the statute of limitations hasn't passed?
Of course, I won't have tax returns to present, but my understanding is that since I have been in the US longer than 5 years and so am not applying for naturalization under the special spouse 3-year provision, I don't actually need tax transcripts at this stage; hopefully someone can confirm this.
I know I can also just file all the returns and only then file N-400, but I recently came upon a need to get my citizenship done as quickly as possible and would rather not delay my N-400 application until all the tax stuff is done.
Thanks in advance for any help!! Definitely excited to finally be getting the ball rolling on this.