How to Apply for US Citizenship With Back Taxes

By Audrey Jones
A US Passport sits on top of a map of the United States

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United States citizenship applications are managed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau, a division of the Department of Homeland Security. Typically, an individual owing back taxes will not be granted citizenship until all overdue tax payments are made, regardless of whether the taxes are owed to federal, state or local governments. Establishing a payment plan makes it more likely that a citizenship application filed by an individual owing back taxes will be approved.

Call the Internal Revenue Service or local tax agency to determine the amount you owe, including any penalties and interest. If you owe a local tax agency money, ask for the contact information for the employee in charge of managing payment plans for overdue taxes.

Establish a repayment account on the IRS online payment account system. This service is accessible through the IRS website. If you owe the federal government less than $25,000 in taxes and interest, you can create an account independently. After providing your contact information and the amount of tax owed, you will be asked to submit a request for a payment agreement. You will be instantly notified of whether your request has been accepted.

Mail the Collection Information Statement Form 433F to the IRS. This step is only necessary if you owe more than $25,000. This form requests that a payment plan be established. Once received, the IRS will either create and inform you of a payment plan or contact you to schedule a meeting to do so.

Call your local IRS office to establish a repayment plan, if your online request was not accepted. Usually, this requires you to meet with an IRS employee, provide evidence of your owed taxes and income and negotiate a repayment plan.

Call your local tax office to meet with a representative to establish a repayment plan, if necessary. Every state has different rules regarding payment of overdue state taxes. Typically, you will have to meet with a representative and provide proof of owed taxes and your income to establish a plan.

Complete the citizenship N-400 form. This form is offered on the Bureau’s website. Part 10, question A, of this form requires you to disclose whether you owe any overdue taxes. You must answer this question truthfully. By answering “yes” you are required to provide a written explanation. To fulfill this requirement, write a letter explaining the amount of taxes you owe and that you are currently participating in a repayment plan approved by the appropriate agency. Provide evidence of the repayment plan’s establishment and your consistent timely payments. File this information with the form.

About the Author

Audrey Johnson began freelance writing and editing in 2008. Her work has been published in local and national magazines such as "Nifty Magazine" and online at education-portal.com. Johnson has a Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Trinity University. She mainly writes about legal, education and business issues, but also dabbles in fiction.