GETTING PAID FOR GETTING LEGAL

YES! You can get paid thousands of dollars in the form of tax relief for getting your immigration affairs in order.  Do you have a U.S. citizen child, a legal resident spouse, a citizen spouse, a U-Visa claim?  All of these are methods that my office pursues to obtain legal resident and non-resident status for clients.  Attorney costs and government fees usually run between $4000.00 and $6,000.00 in such cases.  Many, however, do not know that with legal status and your new Social Security number comes the ability to amend and re-file three years of your tax returns.  In your amended filing you can claim tax deductions and credits you were ineligible to claim with your ITIN.  Re-filing can easily result in $10,000.00 paid to you just through the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.  In addition, you will continue to get significant tax advantages based on your legal filing status. 

People living in the United States and earning income in the United States are required to pay tax on such income.  But, those living in the United States without proper immigration status may not be eligible for a social security number.  For those without a Social Security number, filing with an ITIN is required.  Obtaining an ITIN is a process and you will be required to submit documents establishing your citizenship and identity (passport, foreign driver’s license). 

When filing with an ITIN, you are eligible for standard dependent exemptions.  This will reduce your tax burden.  In 2015 the exemption per dependent is $4000.00.  In order to claim your dependent exemptions each claimed party must also have either a Social Security number or and ITIN.  Unfortunately, you will not be eligible for most other deductions and credits.  Specifically, you will not be able to claim the earned income tax credit or child tax credits.