Sunday, October 4, 2009

Early Preparations for U.S. Move - Taxes

Ok, so now that I'm serious about leaving India sometime next year, it's time to begin preparing how to get out of here...

1. Job search. I need to find a job in the U.S. of course. Easiest would be if Tieto US was hiring in Seattle, but at the moment they're not.

2. Green card application for Leena...

That's the tough one.

Some parts I've made tougher on myself through my own irresponsibility. Since First Insight made me an employee here in India late in 2005, I haven't really filed any taxes with the IRS because it looks hard. To do that I have to report to the IRS how much I earned in rupees, converted to dollars, how much tax I've paid in rupees, converted to dollars and figure out if I still owe the IRS any above and beyond what I paid in India. The paperwork looks very confusing so I've sort of, well, not done it.

But according to the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai, one of the common mistakes made when applying for a green card for an immediate relative (e.g. a spouse) is:

ALL I-864 AND I-864A forms MUST include the income tax returns (form 1040 and W-2) from the last three years along with an employment verification letter for each person sponsoring the applicant. The petitioner and/or any financial co-sponsor may also wish to submit recent pay slips and a bank statement

So, I know I can do the 1040 forms from here in India if I just study up on the IRS's documentation and send it in. Maybe I'll have to pay late fees or interest, too, I don't know.

But the W-2 forms, that's an interesting thing, since I haven't worked for an American company for a while... At least I have bank statements, but they'd probably look pretty boring, just the two annual gift deposits from my mother (birthday and Chanukah) and some withdrawals for online shopping (Amazon, Victoria's Secret, etc.).

There's more than that, I have to prove a domicile and they say:

If you are not currently living in the United States, you must show that your trip abroad is temporary and that you have maintained ties to the United States. You can show this by providing proof of your voting record in the United States, proof of payment of State and Federal taxes in the United States, proof of property ownership in the United States, proof of current bank or investment accounts in the United States., or evidence of a permanent mailing address in the United States.

But my trip has been over eight years now, which might not exactly be temporary and I don't own any property in the U.S. I have voted, but isn't that anonymous, how would I give them my voting record (at least, in this previous election I voted for the winner, so maybe the gov't would be more friendly that way...)

Anyway, I think the tax thing should come first.

But maybe I'll read the Iron Maiden article on Wikipedia, then I can start. Not that I'm procrastinating or anything, it's really a great article, yeah, that's it...

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