Wednesday, March 11, 2015

10 Agenda for Urgent Meeting: Regarding March 10 Event in New York

After watching and reading numerous videos, postings and comments on social media networks including Facebook on the unfortunate March 10 Uprising event in New York, every Tibetan must have one and only one question - What should we do to correct this?  This event has turned out to be a black day in Tibetan American history.  Though history will always remain, it's a lesson we need to learn.

Looking at the "You" "We" and "They" accusations on the social media among two groups (as coined by a NYPD cop in one of the Facebook video), it seems impossible for these organizational members to sort the matter internally.  However, if these accusations remain active on the social media, the existing crack that divides the entire Tibetan community is sure to widen.

Based on the social media videos, I don't see a glimmer of hope that these organizational members will sit, talk and resolve the prevailing differences.  Then, the question is who should jump in? 

As far as my understanding goes, it is the responsibility of The Office of Tibet based in Washington DC - the official agency of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Administration-in-exile, based in Dharamsala, India (Source: Tibet Office).

As a concerned citizen, I would like to propose agenda for the meeting that might help resolve this issue.

Before the Meeting:

The Office of Tibet needs to issue an urgent notice to the president/executive director of organizations who were involved in this unfortunate March 10 Uprising event in New York requesting its executive members to refrain from postings, commenting and sharing on any social media networks.  This notice could also carry invitation (only president/executive director) for the urgent meeting.  This meeting should be chaired by the representative and two Members of Parliament from North America.

Optional: It would be helpful to invite selective Tibetan professionals in North America as an observer/reviewer.

At the Meeting:

Welcome speech by the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama (highlighting the purpose behind this urgent meeting)

Welcome speech by two sitting Tibetan Members of Parliament from North America
15 MINS each

To provide an opportunity for presidents/executive directors involved in 2015 March 10 Uprising event to share their perspective
15 MINS each

To set ground rules for the meeting discussion

To discuss and resolve the existing differences among organizational presidents/executive directors

To welcome presidents of Kyidugs and other Tibetan organization to share their recommendations/viewpoints
5 MINS each

To welcome general public to share only if he/she has evidential support 
5 MINS each

To welcome Tibetan professionals to share their insights
10 MINS each

To draft guidelines for holding future protests, events or demonstrations that involves the participation of general public

To issue a written public apology signed by the president/executive members of  organization involved in 2015 March 10 Uprising event in New York - for hurting the sentiments and feelings of the general Tibetan public

After the Meeting:

Share meeting minutes and all other documents to the general public for information only.

Please feel free to add more agenda to the list by leaving your comment below.  We, as a citizen, needs to be active in issues concerning the Tibetan freedom movement.  Please share far and wide among your friends, relatives and on social medias.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Green Card Holders: Why is it important to file Tax Returns?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducts an investigation and examination of all naturalization (or citizenship) applicants to determine whether an applicant meets all pertinent eligibility requirements to become a U.S. citizen. One of the general requirements for naturalization is a good moral character (GMC). In general, an applicant must show that he or she has been and continues to be a person of GMC during the statutory period prior to filing and up to the time of the Oath of Allegiance.

In addition to the permanent bars to GMC, the INA (Immigration and Naturalization Act) and corresponding regulations include bars to GMC that are not permanent in nature. USCIS refers to these bars as “conditional bars.”

Among many, one conditional bar could be "Unlawful Acts". An unlawful act includes any act that is against the law, illegal or against moral or ethical standards of the community. The fact that an act is a crime makes any commission thereof an unlawful act.

One example of unlawful acts is a failure to file Tax Returns or Pay Taxes. An applicant for naturalization who fails to file tax returns or pay his or her taxes may be precluded from establishing GMC.

Also, don't lie on tax returns. If USCIS officer uncovers inconsistencies in facts submitted on the application for naturalization and material elements on the applicant’s tax return, such as marital status, number of children, and employment, the applicant may be precluded from establishing GMC due to an attempt to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by avoiding taxes.

There are three specific questions on the application for naturalization (citizenship) that pertains to tax returns:

Part 11: Additional Information (Yes or No)
6.        Do you owe any overdue Federal, State, or local taxes?   
7 (A)   Have you ever not filed a Federal, State, or local tax return since you became a Permanent Resident?  
   (B)   If "Yes", did you consider yourself to be a "non-U.S. resident"?
8.        Have you called yourself a "non-U.S. resident" on a Federal, State, or local tax return since you became a Permanent Resident? 

In addition, if you don't file tax returns, your child may not receive financial aid when he or she attends the college or university.

Seven Useful Tips:
1.  File your tax returns at NYC tax prep centers or certified tax filers/preparers
2.  If someone is giving you more tax return, you should not be happy as you are putting yourself at risk. Tax return documents stay with you for life
3.  Make sure the tax preparer signs your income tax returns as the Preparer
4.  Even if you made no money during the year, you should still file tax returns
5.  Select Direct Deposit for your returns
6.  Remember: if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes an inquiry on you and found that you lied on your returns, you could be held liable to pay not only the defrauded amount but also hefty fines.
7.  Cross check the accuracy of your tax returns with other professionals or consultants

Personally, I am aware of two cases as an example to share here: individual having to clear up his local taxes due in order to sit for citizenship interview and; family who had to pay back defrauded tax returns money plus enormous fines to the IRS after its unexpected inquiry.

Primary source: USCIS.GOV

Read also: How to Put an End to Prescreened Credit Card Offers, Unwanted Marketing Calls, and Interest-Based Ads on Your Web Pages