Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Filing False Returns is a Deportable Felony - Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court Feb. 21 decided that lawful permanent residents who have pled guilty to charges related to the filing of false tax returns that resulted in a loss to the government of more than $10,000 have committed aggravated felonies involving fraud or deceit and are subject to deportation (Kawashima v. Holder, U.S., No. 10-577, 2/21/12).

The 6-3 ruling affirms a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that found that, under the immigration statutes, Akio and Fusako Kawashima could be removed for filing a false corporate tax return.

“The elements of willfully making and subscribing a false corporate tax return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1), and of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. §7206(2), establish that those crimes are deportable offenses because they necessarily entail deceit,” wrote Justice Clarence Thomas for the court's majority.

In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued that aliens should not be subject to deportation under Sections 7206(1) and (2) because the Immigration and Nationality Act singles out tax evasion—and no other tax crimes—as an aggravated felony for deportation purposes.

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