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I am in the process of applying for permanent residency in a Latin American country. As part of the process, said LA country has requested authenticated copies of my US taxes for the past 3 years.

I obtained certified copies (expensive) of those tax filings from the IRS and sent them to the State Department. Instead of authenticating them, the State Dept sent them back with a letter that says "The document must be acknowledged before a notary public".

This seems to violate the basic rule of authentication which is that authentication must happen at or above the same level where the document was generated.

How is some local notary to know that these are valid documents and why would the State Dept not authenticate them directly?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Giorgio, ouflak, JonathanReez Supports Monica, Dipen Shah, Gayot Fow Aug 3 '17 at 10:20

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I am not sure you are asking the right question. Who cares whether a notary public can do anything meaningful? The most pressing question is what this Latin American country is prepared to accept. – Gala Dec 2 '14 at 15:13
  • I think the notary is not certifying the document, but that you attest/confirm that you signed the document. One state said that for the state to authenticate a document, the notary's seal would have to authenticated at the county level. I would call the authentication office to get the complete details (since their website is useless). Good luck! – mkennedy Dec 2 '14 at 22:40
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    @gala: I've responded above to your comments. (Sorry, I'm new at this: just figured out the protocol to tag you.) – owen Dec 3 '14 at 10:37
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    @mkennedy: I've responded above to your comments. (Sorry, I'm new at this: just figured out the protocol to tag you.) – owen Dec 3 '14 at 10:37
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    @owen the IRS does offer that exact certification method. You need to write to them that you must have form 2866 when you request the certified copies. See the IRM here: irs.gov/irm/part11/irm_11-003-006.html – littleadv Dec 3 '14 at 16:58