Whether we like it or not, paying taxes is something that we all need to do every year in the United States. Taxes allow the government to pay for schools, roads, and public services. But many people wonder, do immigrants file taxes?
The law requires that every person working in the U.S. and making an income has to file a tax return and pay taxes to the federal government. This is true no matter what immigrant status the person has. Federal taxes are generally due April 15th every year.
How do Immigrants File Taxes?
Immigrants who have lawful status such as a green card can use their social security number to file taxes. However, undocumented immigrants who do not have any legal status do not have social security numbers.
There is an alternative number though that undocumented immigrants can use if they do not have a social security number. An undocumented immigrant can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) as another way to obtain an identification number to file taxes.
Undocumented immigrants can apply for an ITIN through the process of filing federal taxes, at the same time.
In 2010, three million unauthorized immigrant workers filed taxes.
Why Do Immigrants File Taxes?
In addition to being required by law, filing taxes can help immigrants develop a record of their time in the U.S. and contributions to society. For example, if an immigrant is planning to file for an immigration status in the future or if that person ever has to go to immigration court, it can be helpful to show that they have been paying taxes.
Many immigrants pay taxes hoping that doing so could help them become U.S. citizens in the future. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, about half of undocumented workers pay taxes.