April 15th is the deadline to file your 2012 income tax return. Whether documented or undocumented, contact your tax preparer in order to file your taxes on time! For those who are undocumented, it is important to have a record of filed taxes in order to participate in the legalization process, once immigration reform passes. Additionally, the IRS has assured that it does not report undocumented filers. Undocumented immigrants are eligible to apply for an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) in place of a Social Security number, which is used exclusively for federal tax reporting purposes. (www.irs.gov, Form W-7)
VERY CLOSE TO AN IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL
It is so exciting to think that we are on the verge of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) in the U.S. For many years, immigration lawyers have said “wait until the law changes.” Well, it seems like that time is really coming. On March 15th, reports were confirmed by congressional aides that the 8-member bipartisan group in the House of Representatives was close to completing their legislation for a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The Republicans briefed House Speaker John A. Boehner on March 15th and the Democrats briefed House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on March 14th. It is expected that they will introduce their legislation in April after the Easter recess. The bipartisan group in the Senate is also close to completing their immigration bill. The Senate is hoping to introduce their bill in April, bringing the legislation to the floor for debate by June or July. At this time, it looks like the main goals of the bill are to strengthen border security, find a path to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants currently in the U.S., and develop a plan for the future stream of immigrants, including temporary workers. It was recently revealed that the Senate bill could remove siblings and adult children of U.S. citizens from the list of those seeking permanent resident status, while still leaving spouses and minor children eligible. The goal is to lower the number of family members of allowed to obtain a green card each year in order to make room for more skilled workers. If you are a U.S citizen and want to sponsor your married son or daughter or brother/sister, contact our office to file immediately!
CBP ANNOUNCES ELECTRONIC I-94 FORM
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently announced that it will automate Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Records to streamline the admissions process for individuals lawfully visiting the United States.
The automation means that visitors will no longer need to fill-out a paper form when arriving to the U.S., improving procedures and reducing costs. The change will go into effect 30 days after the rule was published in the Federal Register. “Automation of the I-94 will increase efficiency and streamline the admission process,” said CBP Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar. “Once fully implemented, the process will facilitate security and travel while saving CBP an estimated $15.5 million a year.”
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office!
Susan W. Scheer and Staff