As an immigrant in the U.S., filing taxes can be confusing. You likely have many questions about how to file taxes properly and how it differs from filing taxes as a U.S. citizen. If you are an immigrant in California, you can use this FAQ as a guide.
What are the benefits of filing taxes as a U.S. immigrant?
People who are in the U.S. by way of employment-based immigration are required to file federal income taxes just like working citizens do. Some immigrants have understandable privacy concerns about filing taxes. However, the government will not investigate more than necessary. Immigrants can also get benefits such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit if they meet eligibility requirements. You might also be eligible to claim dependents if you provide more than half of their income. If you have foreign income, you can claim tax credits and deductions. These benefits are only available from filing taxes.
How do U.S. immigrants identify themselves on the tax form?
It’s necessary to have some identification number to comply with U.S. tax laws. An immigrant not yet eligible for a Social Security number can use a TIN. You can obtain one by filling out form W-7 on the Internal Revenue application.
Do U.S. immigrants have to pay capital gains tax?
U.S. citizens and nonresident aliens are subject to the same capital gains tax. On the other hand, nonresident aliens with investment earnings do not generally have to pay U.S. capital gains tax.
California immigrants new to filing taxes in the U.S. may have problems beyond answering simple questions. If you need legal assistance, it is best to seek the advice of an immigration lawyer.