Being informed will help you save time and money, especially immigrants.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2015 — Tax season can be a confusing time of year. However, if you’re informed with a few basic facts, you’ll be able to resolve certain questions on your own.

The following myths and facts will help you with the tax filing process.

Myth: If you’re new to the United States, you don’t have to file a tax return.
Fact: Taxes are not related to immigration status. You must file taxes if you live in the United States and if your annual income reaches a specified amount, among other requirements.
Myth: If you don’t have a Social Security number, you don’t need to file taxes.
Fact: Taxes are not dependent on Social Security numbers. If you don’t qualify for a Social Security number, you must request an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues ITINs to residents and foreigners.
Myth: The IRS will call to say you owe money and demand a prompt payment.
Fact: If this happens, it could be a scam. The IRS does not request payments over the phone or by e-mail. If the IRS does need to get in touch, you will receive an official letter in the mail.


Myth: You don’t need to declare tips as part of your income on your tax return.

Fact: Any tips you earn must be reported. If you’re an employee and you earn more than $20 in tips a month, report it to your employer so federal income, Social Security and other taxes can be withheld. If your tips total less than $20 per month, they don’t need to be reported to your employer, but must still be declared on your return.
Myth: If you don’t file a tax return, the IRS will do it for you.
Fact: You must file your own tax return. The IRS doesn’t prepare returns for any taxpayer. You will be considered a tax liability if you don’t file, and the IRS may impose penalties if you don’t pay before the deadline.

To learn more about tax issues, see and, the U.S. Government’s official web portals in English and Spanish, and part of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).