I got married 4months ago and plan to take my wife back to the states. We started processing her paper work at AIT. Then reality kicked in full steam, I need to show support for my spouse. To do that they need to know how I’ll support her on a teachers salary (when there’s no records). They tell me I need to file Taxes for the last 3years but I haven’t done that for 7 years being here that long. YOU MUST FILE (DEATH AND TAXES…REMEMBER) regardless if you didn’t make the exemption cap. I guess my question is has anyone faced this problem before. I wanted to leave in August but time is closing in. AIT’s automated help is a joke. I wasted time and money and got nothing. The AIT office personal wasn’t able to answer my questions directing me to the Tokyo office branch of the IRS. They answered the question ONLY through email and didn’t produce anything new. FILE 2555 and 1040…but HOW !Without proper documentation of work those, taxes forms are as worthless to my case as the cheap paper I printed them off the internet on.
You can file back tax returns for the years you neglected to file by getting the forms from previous years. As far as no documentation of earnings from teaching here, you should have kept your own records of your earnings but even if you didnt you can still file as you dont need to produce records to file the returns, only if you are audited.
Doesnt your wife have any assets here which would prove that she can support herself?
ah, we share the same boat…sort of…i just finshed filing for 1994-1999…luckily i was working legally though, so the tax records were at the taiwan “IRS” office…
before i did all this fun stuff though i met with the US IRS guy at AIT this spring…he said, essentially, was that, legal OR illegal (ie, taxable in taiwan) income must be declared to the IRS (and anything over 78K US is taxable in the US…it seems that you have been working illegally since you have no records…but that doesnt mean you cant declare the income…so estimate how much you made and use that…and file away…
however, getting audited once youre back in the states is a whole other matter and your not having documentation, tax receipts or bank statements could negatively impact your daily living for a while…(and your forehead, cause you’ll be slapping yourself frequently!) but chances that they’ll audit you are slim…
and for those of you who, like myslef and this poor guy, , even if you come here thinking “I’ll NEVER go back man!”…just file your taxes…you’ll need the tax paying history if you want to invest in the stock market, renew your passport and other such things that i never knew in 1994…
quote[quote] I got married 4months ago and plan to take my wife back to the states. We started processing her paper work at AIT. Then reality kicked in full steam, I need to show support for my spouse. To do that they need to know how I'll support her on a teachers salary (when there's no records). They tell me I need to file Taxes for the last 3years but I haven't done that for 7 years being here that long. [/quote]
There are two issues here:
- The need to provide the Immigrant Visa (IV) Unit your last three years’ tax returns and,
- The requirement under U.S. law to prove that the petitioner (the person who files an IV petition on behalf of someone else) can provide financial support for the the person(s) for whom the petition is being filed.
This last point is driven by a change in the law and was designed to ensure that the newly arrived immigrant(s) would not go on welfare once in the States.
In almost all cases, the petitioner lives in the States and providing the last three years’ tax returns satisfies the requirement to show that the petitioner has the financial resources to support the beneficiary of the IV petition. However, you belong to the relatively small minority of petitioners who are living abroad when filing the IV petition, making your situation a little different. As a result, bear in mind that the income you earn in Taiwan will, obviously, cease once you and your wife leave here and return to the States. Therefore, even though you still need to show your past three years tax returns, the income showed cannot be used to satisfy the requirement to prove that you have the financial resources to support your wife once in the States. My reading of your post left me with the impression that you believed that once you jump through the necessary hoops to file your past X number of years’ tax returns, you’d be set. That is not the case.
OK, you file your missing tax returns and you still have to meet the legal requirement to prove your income is above the poverty line (that is where Congress set the bar in terms of income level). Do you have a job offer in the States? If so, you can show AIT the job offer letter and if the salary offered is higher than that required, you will be OK. If you do not have a job offer the solution is to get a joint sponsor. That is to say, find someone who lives in the States (usually a family member) who agrees to fill out the form provided by AIT that must be submitted to satisfy this requirement (the I-864, called the Affidavit of Support).
You also commented that AIT wasn’t able to answer your tax questions. That is true, they weren’t just putting you off. The nearest IRS representative is at the Embassy in Tokyo, so you would be better off contacting that office and get the real skinny from them.
Very informative post. My situation is a bit different though. My tax returns are filed every year since I’ve been here so no problems there. I have been teaching here so when I go back to USA there will be no job waiting. However, my wife had a very thriving business here for many years before and saved a good sum of money and now lives off of investment fixed income bonds which is above the poverty level. If she shows AIT people investment portfolio from Taiwan and USA accounts with fixed income or stocks, is this going to pass with them or what? Any opinion?
Without income, assets themselves are divided by $5 to equal $1 for then meeting the poverty level guidelines. Unearned income from invested assets is just like earned income, I believe. Returning US citizens must show their potential for earning a living as indicated above.
It gets interesting for their sponsors when a spouse can co-sign their affidavit, with income from work in the USA. So do they then have some Employment Authorization Document from the F-1 student or H-1B work visa to justify this US income?
For some from Taiwan whom are ineligible for a green card by marriage or investment, there are the treaty options of E investor visas might be another viable avenue to someone opening a hair salon or software factory in the US. The minimum investment guidelines will vary as will the legal advice, so do search for competent US attorneys and please do search extensively and widely for expertise. E visas are far cheaper than Canada, and they are far more interesting, if one really wishes to reside indefinitely in sunbelt of the USA, being far away from the artic snowbelt.
quote[quote] If she shows AIT people investment portfolio from Taiwan and USA accounts with fixed income or stocks, is this going to pass with them or what? [/quote]
Liquid assets (those that can be converted into cash readily - i.e., not real estate) can be used as evidence of financial sufficiency. The formula, as mentioned by TaiwanStatus, for calculating what amount of liquid assets must be on hand to offset this requirement is a ratio of five-to-one. If you and your wife are the only ones in the household, the income requirement for a household of two is US$14,925. If you are relying solely on liquid assets to offset that requirement, you would need to show proof that you and/or your wife hold liquid assets equal to, or greater than US$74,625. You mention that your wife holds these assets. Is ownership of the accounts in her name, or at most, both of your names? If ownership is shared by other family members of your wife (her mom, dad, brother, whatever), that complicates the issue and AIT would not count those assets.