By the Staff of New York Immigration Attorneys
The Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein
Question: Would you please tell me when am I supposed to pay taxes? My wife and I both work sporadically. I pick up construction jobs when I can. My wife cleans when she can. We both get paid cash. But it will be years before we can adjust our status as our priority date is still very far.
Spar & Bernstein: The question of when taxes should be paid is independent of your immigration status. The tax code is very clear on its rules. If you are drawing a wage, then you should be paying taxes. Some aliens are not paying taxes because they can get away without doing it because no one knows they are drawing a wage. However, it is not that they are not required to pay taxes. It becomes imperative that taxes are filed and paid when it becomes closer to the time that an alien applies for a green card because failure to file tax returns can be grounds for denial. It is not that the tax law all of a sudden becomes applicable because the alien is about to become a Lawful Permanent Resident. The alien just starts complying with the tax law because the alien will now face consequences (denial of green card) if he does not. Hope this answers your question.
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