I’m in process for a clearance that requires FS poly. I’ve had TS/SCI clearances for years with CI poly but first time for FS.
Just had a long interview with an investigator and would appreciate any advice on what can be done to mitigate some negative information that carne up.
What has me most concerned is over claiming tax deductions. For several years I took the full amount of “real estate taxes” reported by my bank on 1098 form and itemized it. However, that amount includes about $300 annually that is for trash collection and therefore not deductible. (Separate line item on the property tax bill).
I’m sure many people are not aware of this detail in the rules and do what I do. I even hired someone to do my taxes one year and they said I could deduct the whole thing. Up until that point, I followed the rule but at some point afterwards just started deducting the full amount. I was completely candid with the investigator and admitted that I claimed the full amount even though I believed the accountant to be wrong. I claimed incorrectly from 2007-2017, only stopping when the doubling of the standard deduction caused me to stop itemizing.
Any thoughts on how bad this is and what can be done to mitigate? I’m getting my old returns together so I can file amended returns. Will doing this help?
I also told the investigator that I incorrectly claimed a tax credit in 2009 and 2010. In 2009 it was an honest mistake but in 2010 I told her I knew at a minimum that I should look into it more as I wasn’t sure of the rules. At the time of the interview I thought I had claimed it incorrectly. But just last night was able to confirm after some research that I actually did claim it correctly. I am trying to contact the investigator to get this error corrected in her documentation.
Another negative thing that came up is some unpaid debt from 2010. When my wife did a one year certificate program I never got a bill for the last tuition payment and so never paid it. Bill would have been about $2000. I told the investigator that I set aside the money to pay it and waited for the bill with the intent to pay it, but never got the bill so never paid it.
Not sure what my legal obligations are to pay a bill never presented to me, but I assume it would be considered unpaid debt. This was a for profit school that went bankrupt. So not sure if I could pay this debt. I’m hoping it will help my case that I did have the intent to pay when I got the bill.
Any thoughts on how serious this is and is there anything I should do about it?
Reading this blog I see that tax and debt issues are the #1 reason for clearance denials. How much does the passage of time count as a mitigating factor?
The other issue discussed at length was many years of heavy drinking. As that ended 15 years ago I am not so worried about that.
Any advice or comment is appreciated.