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The ever confusing MFJ / I-864A scenario - please advise

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Hi everyone,


I am struggling to get this figured out 100%. We got an RFE for I-864 (wife didn't make the poverty guidelines for some strange reason) and have decided to use my wife's mother as a joint sponsor, she files as married filing jointly, her husband (my FIL) is retired and earns roughly $6.8k in SS benefits and $500 in dividends/year as indicated on their 2017 tax transcripts. My MIL makes about $57k in wages currently as per her recent pay stubs. 


Okay so I know she has to fill out I-864 form but this where I get stuck:


Do we include FIL SS benefits and add him to the household income even though she makes more than enough without it? Her household size = 4 (herself,  husband, son, and me).

I understand  its better to include an I-864A for joint tax filers since it demonstrates consent from the spouse, but I really do not want to bother him further to provide evidence of his SS benefits, he is not well. Are the taxable SS benefits listed on their tax transcripts acceptable if we go this route or must we provide further evidence? I also understand if you provide transcripts, you must not submit W2's since they are joint tax filers and are both consenting through the I-864A. 




Do we we only include her (MIL/joint sponsor) current annual income as the household income,  provide tax transcripts and W2's and recent pay stubs.(Does this have to be 6 months worth? She gets paid weekly, that's a lot of pages)

Additionally I could then just fill out a I-864A for FIL, put 0 for current annual income on his form and hers , this might satisfy IO's concern for consent and avoid having to get SS benefit documents? 



I am aware no matter what we do, since they are joint tax filers, you always fill in the exact figure of line 22 on 1040 for Part 6, line 24a  on the I-864 form.


1 last question, I honestly believe the RFE was unnecessary and the IO didn't examine my wife's petition thoroughly, he/she probably just saw no taxes filed for 2017 and sent RFE immediately. She did not file because she did not earn any income whatsoever during that year. We explained this in a letter, also that she started working again in April '18 and based on her salary would meet the poverty guidelines by 4 x, we provided pay stubs, employment letter. Since submitting original application she has taken on a new job with even better pay, she has recently filed for 2017 even though the figures were zero. Now would it be advisable to include an updated I-864 for her reflecting her new pay stubs and/or job letter, tick the yes box asking "have you filed for the 3 most recent tax years" and just put a zero for the 2017 amount and additionally submit her mother as a joint sponsor, in case they for some reason don't bite based on her application alone?


Phew what a mouthful, sorry about that just don't want to get denied and so many ways to go wrong with this stuff.


Happy Halloween folks.


Edited by diyeverything
wrong title

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