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Can I Apply for Cancellation of Removal if I Owe Back Taxes?

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Whether you are a lawful permanent resident or noncitizen and want to protect yourself from the potential of deportation, there is one way you can start now — pay your taxes. If you have lived in the United States for years and have not paid your taxes, it’s not too late.

In order to qualify for Cancellation of Removal, you must demonstrate good moral character. Part of demonstrating good moral character is proving that you filed your tax returns and paid your taxes on time. Even if you’ve never been charged with a crime due to failure to file taxes, your actions may still reflect poor character and could hurt your chances of obtaining cancellation of removal.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) administers the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. VITA offers free tax help to people who generally make $57,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. All VITA services are offered by trained, IRS-certified staff and volunteers to maximize refunds and take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Due to COVID-19, VITA 2022 service will be fully virtual.

Visit this website to find a VITA service provider near you:

If you have back taxes or need to catch up on your payments, go directly through the IRS to set up an installment plan. If you are in compliance with an IRS payment program, the immigration court may not consider your failure to pay as a lack of good moral character. The type of installment plan depends on the total amount owed. Call 1-800-829-7650 to set up an installment plan.


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