TS Clearance problems? should i bother?

I am looking at getting a TS Clearance with SSBI with the Air Force. I am enlisting. I am a naturalized citizen because my mom was naturalized from Mexico. I hold an expired mexican passport that has one use in it, when I went to Austria. Hold no significant contacts overseas or have foreign accounts or investments. No drug use ever or criminal record ever. I have 23,000 in student loans that are still deferred because I am still in college. The student loan is in good standing. I have roughly 2K in debt that is in collections. In the past year I have been rebuilding my credit and it has gone up about 100 points and climbing. From 2014- SEP of 2018 I worked under the table at a foster home making about 20K per year. Never declared the income and when I filled out my FAFSA I got a lot of grants and aid because I put down that I was unemployed and the IRS had no tax return filed (cuz no money was being made 'on the books). I am enrolling in a credit counseling service for the 2K in collections. What are my chances of being granted the Clearance? should i even bother at all? Of course I would come out clean on the SF-86.

You should speak to the under the table money. Technically you committed fraud on the FAFSA. I doubt the security clearance folks call the FAFSA folks. COntinue to work on your credit, if it is well below 600 I would not take a chance at this time. Have no worries about being naturalized. If you had the passport while you also had a US passport, I would speak to it and let them know it is now expired.e

So…“under the table” means you cheated the govt out of what they state is their fare share, and what you are required to pay on your earnings. That could be something that gets viewed as either lying, tax fraud or at the very least an issue of integrity. I’ll stop there and let the rest of the community chime in.

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Financial issues are the #1 problem people face and there are some to be dealt with here. When I first read the post I thought it said $20K from 2014 to 2018, and I thought, well, maybe that is not enough to where you have to file a return… but if it is $20K per year then there is definitely an issue of unreported income.

I think this would be a concern for TS/SCI or TS or even Secret. I’m not saying it is a show stopper but I think it will attract a lot of scrutiny, which means time, which means a lot of time doing who-knows-what after basic training while you wait to go to your specialty school.

You’re going to need to address the considerable under the table earnings. Taxes and filling are a serious issue that you WILL be asked about. “Have you filed all of your tax returns?” The answer is, “No, I have not.” There is, really, no such thing as an “under the table” job. You are REQUIRED to report the income and pay taxes on the earnings. You broke the law, as did the company who was paying you without properly withholding taxes and other money. If fact, if THEY get audited, they will roll over on you so quickly that your head will spin. They were taking a deduction for the money that they paid you and they know exactly how much they gave you. They will tell the IRS who will then come after you for not reporting.

It’s going to cost you money, but you need to go back and file tax returns for those years and then get into a payment plan to cover the back taxes.

Even without an audit, one of the contacts that you report or some developed contact, is going to mention that you worked there, you will not have reported it, and then you have a real issue.


Ed knows the tax angle. If you take this action on your own behalf…you can get ahead of the power curve and it looks better. It can be explained as youthful stupidity, not considering the consequences…a measure of maturity kicks in…and you want to right past wrongs. There is a lot of bad behavior at 20 that seemed great at the time, but by 30 looks really dumb, and likewise at 40, 50 etc. Doing the right thing…and then explaining you are fixing a former bad decision looks far better.

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By the way . . . since you didn’t receive a W-2 or have taxes withheld, you can report this income on a Schedule-C, as if you were a contractor. This will allow you to deduct things like commuting costs, uniforms and maybe some other things, and will reduce the amount of tax that you need to pay.

This is where a professional comes in.

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