Q. I work two jobs and I was audited last year. I am not yet a citizen. I am concerned that I will be accused of tax evasion. I have two young children that were born in this country and I fear I may be deported should I be convicted of tax evasion. Can they deport me for these kinds of things?
A. This depends on whether you are convicted of a crime that has been found to be involving “moral turpitude” by the INA. While there are extenuating factors such as having naturally born children in this country, the INA will often look to the totality of the circumstances before making a decision to pursue deportation.
INA Authority To Deport
Under the law, the INA does have the legal authority to deport a noncitizen that is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. Whether a particular crime involves moral turpitude depends on the law and in particular, whether the crime involves what the law calls criminal intent. That is, whether you knew and intended to commit the crime in question. Poof of planning and premeditation is often considered evidence of criminal intent and therefore supports a finding of moral turpitude.
Willful And Intentional Tax Evasion Is A Deportable Offense
Under the current law, intentional and willful tax evasion is considered a deportable offence. However, unlike the below list of other deportable crimes, willful tax evasion may be very difficult to prove. Honest mistakes, even negligent accounting practices can result in evasion allegations, but proving you actually acted willfully and intentionally with respect to nonpayment of taxes is often problematic to prove – especially if you can demonstrate common ignorance in the tax process.
Unless the matter involves large sums of money or involves victims or is a very clear case of willful evasion, the IRS will likely be willing to work with you so long as you are prepared to make restitution on your back taxes owed and there is some reasonable and colorable argument that the alleged evasion was not intentional and therefore did not constitute moral turpitude.
Other Examples Of Deportable Crimes
The following is a sample of crimes that have been legally held to constitute moral turpitude and therefore are deportable offences:
Voluntary or Reckless Manslaughter