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New Requirement For Tax Transcripts When Applying For Immigration Benefits

Immigration authorities continue to create more and more difficult requirements from all benefit applicants in order to satisfy the burden of proof in requesting immigration status. The latest change arrives just in time for tax season: a heightened requirement for evidence of tax filings.

For reasons unknown to us, and with no regard to the additional burden on applicants, their sponsors, or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), many immigration agencies are now requiring IRS tax transcripts as the sole form of evidence of tax filing. Some agencies are going further and requiring “certified tax transcripts.” These must be obtained by written request or by calling the IRS and being placed on hold for hours at a time.

Since the IRS has blocked efforts by immigration authorities to directly access the tax filings of individuals, it has always been up to the individuals to provide evidence of those filings to the various immigration officials who request them. For years, immigration authorities were satisfied with individuals submitting copies of their tax forms, such as the unsigned 1040 packet a tax preparer would give a client after submitting the original to the IRS, or the electronic copy a person would print out when e-filing. This administration has decided, without announcement and with more frequency, to request transcripts. the rationale offered by officers thus far has included prevention of receipt of unfiled or improperly filed returns.


Tax transcripts may be ordered by using Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. for electronic copies, a user can set up an account and simply download the desired years. However, for certified copies, Form 4506-T can be filled out and mailed in or they can be requested by calling 1-800-829-1040. Please note that you must ask for the transcripts to be mailed if the requesting immigration authority wants a certified tax transcript and has not specified that an e-mail or downloaded copy is acceptable. Again, if a downloaded copy is acceptable, the IRS website gives you the option to get the transcripts online. The IRS website is .


We expect that the government will request tax transcripts for every case where taxes are required as part of the evidence to show eligibility for the application or relief sought, as well as to show favorable discretion. For now, we have begun to see their request in the following cases:


When applying to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, there is a requirement that you show good moral character for the period relevant to your application: five years for most applicants and three years for those applying based on marriage to U.S. citizens. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) now requires that applicants bring “certified tax returns” to their naturalization interview. Failure to bring certified tax transcripts can result in a denial of the naturalization case due to failure to show that the applicant possesses the good moral character required to become a citizen. Tax evidence is NOT required in cases where the individual is applying for a replacement of an already granted citizenship or is applying based on derivation of citizenship based on a parent. For more information visit