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Immigration Issues/Overdue taxes for purpose of citizenship application


I am applying for citizenship in the US (in the State of California) and there are 2 questions concerning taxes on the application form:

Question 4 asks "Since becoming a lawful permanent resident, have you ever failed to file a required Federal, State, or local tax return?"

I have filed Federal and State tax returns but not local as I don't think California has local taxes. Would you have any guidance from your experience in dealing with this answer for your clients?

Question 5 asks "Do you owe any Federal, State, or local taxes that are overdue?"

I assume that "local" taxes is used in the same context in both questions. In your experience with dealing with this question, do you know if "Federal, State, or local taxes" only relates to income taxes? My issue is that I am overdue on property taxes. Would this question include property taxes or is just income tax?

Note: my understanding is that California property taxes are tied to the property and not to me personally ie. if I lose the house or sell the house, the new owner has to pay for it. My understanding is that I am NOT personally liable for property taxes. Therefore, I'm not sure whether I should answer yes to question 5.

I understand that you are not a tax lawyer, however, I would appreciate any guidance you can offer from your experience dealing with the citizenship application.

Thanks you.

Hello Joyce:

As a matter of caution, you should answer by the affirmative and provide an explanation. You should consult a tax lawyer to obtain further guidance in this matter. You could also provide the tax's attorney professional opinion to clarify your answer.


Annick Koloko

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Annick Tchokonte-Koloko


Ms. Koloko's practice includes removal defense, political asylum, federal litigation, consular processing, criminal law, and assistance in business and family based visas. Ms. Koloko is an experienced litigator who practices regularly in courts throughout the United States.


Ms. Koloko had litigated cases before the Immigration Courts as well as the Board of Immigration Appeals. Ms. Koloko also handled successfully numerous non-immigrant and immigrant applications before USCIS, as well as US Consular Posts.

AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) Admitted to practice in U.S. District Court, Western District of New York Admitted in New York

Ms. Koloko received a JD from the University of Paris, as well as Master of Laws (LLM) from Franklin Pierce Law Center.

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