Affidavit of Support, I-864 and Taxes
Proving your income for affidavit of support i864
Just thinking about income taxes often taxes the mind. When filing for a spouse or fiancé (whether as a sponsor or joint sponsor) you will be required to file form I864 Affidavit of support (or I134 for a fiancé). In most cases income tax returns (with corresponding W-2 or Form 1099) or IRS transcripts are used to demonstrate to an immigration or consular officer that the sponsor can make and maintain sufficient household income to prevent the fiancé or spouse from relying on government welfare. You should therefore ensure that your income tax returns are filed (when the law requires you to file) but that your returns are true and correct.
Common tax related problems that cause rejection of i-864 affidavit forms
As an immigration lawyer based in Las Vegas I often find that clients who have filed their taxes by themselves or through a “friend” should review their taxes carefully. Many of these tax filings have errors on them that can come back to bite. Some common errors include:
1. Wrong social security number;
2. Income attributed to the wrong spouse;
3. Wrong filing status – e.g. filing as head of household or single when one is married, filing as a non-resident after grant of LPR status; and
4. Incorrect number of dependents.
Also, despite having a legal duty to file federal taxes, some persons may not have filed taxes in previous years because they did not have any deductions to claim and wanted to save on the expense or inconvenience.
An Enrolled Agent can help
Not sure about your taxes or whether you have a legal duty to file under U.S. law? Contact an Enrolled Agent at any major tax preparation or tax advisory company such as H&R Block or ask your immigration lawyer for a referral. An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service.
Get the right help early
Don’t let your tax situation prevent you from filing for your relatives. Consult with an immigration lawyer for advice. Even if you owe taxes, don’t lose hope. You can sponsor your relatives if you have an installment agreement on which you are making agreed payments. If you are unemployed or retired you may still be able to sponsor your relatives using your social security income, assets or by getting the help of a joint sponsor. Working with a dedicated immigration lawyer and an enrolled agent can get you on the right track in little time.