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Veteran seeking advice.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ghana
Timeline

I served four years in the military and did 2 tours in Iraq. After I got out of the military I took a vacation with a friend to Ghana and met a lovely woman their and got married before I came back. We now I have a beautiful daughter together who is now a U.S citizen because her report of birth abroad was approved. I just filed the i-130 petition for my wife and already finished AOS and the online visa application so we are just waiting for an interview date. Now my questions are:

  1. I am a full time student at the University of Texas and live off of my GIBILL housing allowance and PTSD disability payment. I don’t have any recent tax transcript to send so I sent them my GIBILL letter and my disability payment letter which clearly states how much I get paid. I get paid well above the poverty line am just worried about not having a tax transcript. Will this be an Issue?
  2. I just sent them an email requesting for my petition to be expedited because of my PTSD. I stated that I suffer from flash back and have difficulties sleeping at night (I have Veterans Affairs documents to prove this) and that having my wife with me will greatly help me to recover and be whole again. What are my chances of getting approved for this reason?
  3. How long does it normally take to get an interview date in Accra Ghana after everything is complete?

Thank you.

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I can only answer the first question since it's the most familiar to me.

You have to include a written statement explaining why you didn't file. If you weren't required to file because your housing allowance and your disability payments are nontaxable, you have to show proof from the IRS where it shows this exemption. You also have to explain how you qualify for the exemption.

The letters only serve to prove your income, but they don't help explain why you didn't file taxes. If the income is taxable for some reason and over the filing threshold you would have to file the returns for the last 3 years.


This does not constitute legal advice.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ghana
Timeline

I can only answer the first question since it's the most familiar to me.

You have to include a written statement explaining why you didn't file. If you weren't required to file because your housing allowance and your disability payments are nontaxable, you have to show proof from the IRS where it shows this exemption. You also have to explain how you qualify for the exemption.

The letters only serve to prove your income, but they don't help explain why you didn't file taxes. If the income is taxable for some reason and over the filing threshold you would have to file the returns for the last 3 years.

Thanks for your reply. But i still ha e to show proof even though all benefits given to veterans under the department of Veterans affairs are none taxable? All our benefits are none taxable so i figure this is something that a federal agency would know. Maybe i will call them tomorrow and see if I should send them those things you mentioned. Because i really don't want any delays.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ghana
Timeline

IRS publication 575 Veterans' BenefitsVeterans' benefits.

Do not include in your income any veterans' benefits paid under any law, regulation, or administrative practice administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The following amounts paid to veterans or their families are not taxable.

Education, training, and subsistence allowances.

Disability compensation and pension payments for disabilities paid either to veterans or their families.

Grants for homes designed for wheelchair living.

Grants for motor vehicles for veterans who lost their sight or the use of their limbs.

Veterans' insurance proceeds and dividends paid either to veterans or their beneficiaries, including the proceeds of a veteran's endowment policy paid before death.

Interest on insurance dividends left on deposit with the VA.

Benefits under a dependent-care assistance program.

The death gratuity paid to a survivor of a member of the Armed Forces who died after September 10, 2001.

Payments made under the compensated work therapy program.

Any bonus payment by a state or political subdivision because of service in a combat zone.

I figured they would have this information about veterans benefits or should i send it to them?

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They may not know this necessarily. The reason is because everyone has a different tax situation. You can have income that is taxable or nontaxable or both, but because they are another federal agency, it's not really their job to know what income is taxable and what isn't.

That is why they ask for the explanation and proof. You are already one step ahead of what I was going to say because you already know what publication is it that your exemption falls under.

So what you do is write the letter explaining that: "Per the instructions of the I-864 I am writing this explanation for why I haven't filed taxes for the 3 previous tax years (2013, 2012, and 2011). As you can see, my only source of income is such and such and it is nontaxable under US tax law. In IRS publication 575 you can find that the benefits that I receive are fully nontaxable. Additionally, I am including a copy of the part of the publication that proves this exemption. As such, both this letter and the proof of exemption should explain that I am fully exempt from filing a federal tax return because of the kind of income I receive."

You would include the front cover and the relevant page(s). You must explain clearly in the letter that this is and was your only source of income for the last 3 tax years and that you are fully exempt from filing tax returns because the income is fully nontaxable.

Read the instructions for the I-864 on page 6 and you will see this info there. I know that you don't want a delay, but I guarantee that you will delay your case if you don't send the above explanation and proof of exemption.

Again, I cannot stress enough that you have to be very clear in the letter about your income and that you are fully exempt because sometimes people still receive a checklist because they fail to properly explain what the exemption is and how they qualify for it.

In this case it's pretty simple because it is your only income and it is only from the VA, but you have to make it clear. Trust me, you cannot assume that these people know what they are doing half the time.

Edited by Ian H.

This does not constitute legal advice.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ghana
Timeline

They may not know this necessarily. The reason is because everyone has a different tax situation. You can have income that is taxable or nontaxable or both, but because they are another federal agency, it's not really their job to know what income is taxable and what isn't.

That is why they ask for the explanation and proof. You are already one step ahead of what I was going to say because you already know what publication is it that your exemption falls under.

So what you do is write the letter explaining that: "Per the instructions of the I-864 I am writing this explanation for why I haven't filed taxes for the 3 previous tax years (2013, 2012, and 2011). As you can see, my only source of income is such and such and it is nontaxable under US tax law. In IRS publication 575 you can find that the benefits that I receive are fully nontaxable. Additionally, I am including a copy of the part of the publication that proves this exemption. As such, both this letter and the proof of exemption should explain that I am fully exempt from filing a federal tax return because of the kind of income I receive."

You would include the front cover and the relevant page(s). You must explain clearly in the letter that this is and was your only source of income for the last 3 tax years and that you are fully exempt from filing tax returns because the income is fully nontaxable.

Read the instructions for the I-864 on page 6 and you will see this info there. I know that you don't want a delay, but I guarantee that you will delay your case if you don't send the above explanation and proof of exemption.

Again, I cannot stress enough that you have to be very clear in the letter about your income and that you are fully exempt because sometimes people still receive a checklist because they fail to properly explain what the exemption is and how they qualify for it.

In this case it's pretty simple because it is your only income and it is only from the VA, but you have to make it clear. Trust me, you cannot assume that these people know what they are doing half the time.

Thanks a bunch. I called them this morning and they said that i would get a check list if i don't send them a letter explaining why my income are none taxable. I'll Will Make Sure to strees That Those Have Been My Only source of income since 2011. Thanks a lot for the information.

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