Information About How and When to File Your Taxes

Last updated March 19, 2021

If you work in the United States (U.S.) you are required to file your taxes if your income in 2020 was higher than a specific amount.

This year the government is extending the deadline to file your taxes to May 17, 2021. Read more here. If you’re unable to file your taxes by this deadline, you can request an extension. You can learn more about requesting an extension here.

There are benefits to filing your taxes. For example:

  • You can receive refunds. When you work in the U.S., sometimes part of your income is automatically withheld by the state and federal governments. When you file your taxes, you may be eligible to receive a refund of the money that was withheld. Also, filing taxes may help some people receive their economic stimulus checks. You can read more about the economic stimulus checks here.
  • It can help you with your immigration case. For example, filing your taxes can serve as proof of the years that you have lived in the U.S., which can be very important for an immigration case.
  • The process is safe. In general, all of the information that you provide when you file your taxes is confidential and will not be shared with other agencies or individuals. Neither the police nor immigration agencies will investigate you for filing your taxes.

If you do not have a social security number, you can still file your taxes with an ITIN number. You can read more about the ITIN here.

If you need help filing your taxes, you can find places that can help you prepare your taxes for free here. All you need to do is enter your zip code to find places close to where you live. Also, you can call this free hotline for updated information about tax preparation help centers in your area: 1-800-906-9887.

If you prefer virtual help (someone to help you on the phone) you can look here. You can read more about taxes and how to file your taxes here.

For more information and resources from the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) visit our website.

Note: This information is for individuals seeking asylum in the United States and is not a substitute for advice from an attorney.