1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

Discussion in 'Individuals' started by JAW, May 6, 2011.

  1. JAW

    JAW Junior Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MY GC was issued in 1990 but i have not lived in the US since later that same year and have intention of ever returning to live there. How can i find out if my GC has been "offically" deemed abandoned?
    Many thanks
     
  2. JAW

    JAW Junior Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    I should have said "I have NO intentione of ever returning...."
     
  3. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

    Messages:
    35,917
    Likes Received:
    4,298
    Trophy Points:
    25,213
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    Then you should go to the nearest U.S. consular post and formally give up your card. The IRS rule is that as long as you claim to be a U.S. resident, you owe taxes on your worldwide income.
     
  4. JAW

    JAW Junior Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    But i do not claim to be a US resident. i haven't lived there for 21 years. I understood that my old card has been invalid for over 10 years and as such i am not a bona fide resident.
     
  5. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

    Messages:
    35,917
    Likes Received:
    4,298
    Trophy Points:
    25,213
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    The two government agencies look at the matter very differently. The USCIS regards you as having abandoned your LPR status when you moved abroad with the intent to live there indefinitely. The IRS, on the other hand, regards you as an LPR until you lose that status formally by renouncing it or having it formally taken away from you. Since you aren't living here, and don't plan to live here again, the issue is pretty much moot. Still, you should go to the nearest consular post and formally renounce your LPR status.
     
  6. JAW

    JAW Junior Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  7. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

    Messages:
    35,917
    Likes Received:
    4,298
    Trophy Points:
    25,213
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    The operative phrase there was "for all practical purposes" - not for legal purposes. Realistically, I doubt that they will ever try to come after you if you don't return to the U.S. Strictly speaking, however, the IRS considers you a taxpayer unless and until you give up your green card.
     
  8. JAW

    JAW Junior Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    Thanks Ron for your response. (on a holiday too :))

    Do you know how I can find out from USCIS if my immigrant status has been administratively terminated? I have checked the web site but cannot see this as an option.
    Many thanks
     
  9. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

    Messages:
    35,917
    Likes Received:
    4,298
    Trophy Points:
    25,213
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    There really isn't any way to get this information from the USCIS. I suggest that you simply go to the nearest U.S. consular post and execute a formal renunciation of LPR status. You can write on the form that you are only just filing it now, but have in fact not been a resident for the last X years.
     
  10. JAW

    JAW Junior Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    Thanks Ron

    I guess I have been scared of doing so in case it raises flags that are communicated from one agency to another thus causing this exact thing that I fear.
    It seems rather a cloudy kind of issue.
    In examining various parts of the IRS rules it says you continue to have resident status under the Green Card test unless the status is taken away from you or is administratively or judicially determined to have been abandoned. It talks about abandonment of status being initiated by yourself (filing with USCIS), by the UCSIS or by a consular officer and that you may be regarded as having abandonned status by failing to file a tax return.

    So, you have to file unless status is abandonned, but status may be considered abandonned if you fail to file!
     
  11. Ron Gotcher

    Ron Gotcher Attorney at Law

    Messages:
    35,917
    Likes Received:
    4,298
    Trophy Points:
    25,213
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    I really doubt that what you fear will happen.
     
  12. sneha123

    sneha123 Junior Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    My cousin had a similar problem. He visited embassy to surrender the GC however they didnt accept saying it can be accepted with a visit visa application. Upon stating that he wont be requesting a visit visa for 4 to 5 years, he was told to hold the card till then & that he is not liable for any taxes during that time. But this was in contradiction to the IRS law.
     
  13. Roy Vargis

    Roy Vargis Super Moderator

    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    Sneha,

    Do note that USCIS and IRS are two different authorities and if the embassy has not revoked the GC, it does not relieve one from IRS requirement of filing tax returns.
     
  14. zanelawson

    zanelawson Junior Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    All in all, the best thing to do is to go to the consular post.
     
  15. cristacherish873

    cristacherish873 Junior Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    Jaw, have you gotten to a US Consular already? Care to tell us what happened?
     
  16. Roy Vargis

    Roy Vargis Super Moderator

    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Re: Is my green card still valid such that I should still be filing taxes?

    Do note that its required to file the tax return, but there are foreign income exclusions and tax credits with which you might not pay any taxes as such. However, its very important to have your compliance forms like the FBAR, Form 8938 filed. Failure to do so may end up with high penalties.
     

Share This Page