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TimonLovesSkylour

K1 AOSer - need some help on form I-864EZ - what if we haven't yet filed 2018's tax return? ITIN application?

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Posted (edited)

Hi there everyone,

 

So, here's my question/issue: how do we answer Part 5, question 5.a (on page 3) of form I-864EZ - "Have you filed a Federal income tax return for each of the three most recent tax years?" if my fiancee (the US petitioner) and I haven't yet filed our 2018 return? Do we have to wait to file form I-864EZ (and obviously, the rest of my AOS application) until we've filed our return?

 

If so, this presents us with another problem, which is: due to the timing of my arrival into the US (late in the year last year), and our being married in December (and being crazy busy for a few months) we overlooked that I needed to apply for a social security number right after arriving in the US, before we got married. My I-94 is recently expired and at this point I'm going to have to wait for EAD to get an SSN. The thing is that as far as I understand things, I need that SSN for us to file our return jointly (and thus be able to claim me as a dependent and receive a larger tax return).

 

So we're kind of in a double bind here (I think -- maybe not if what I'm going to say a few lines down from here is right)- we can't file with me as a dependent on our taxes without first receiving EAD and accompanying SSN, and we can't apply for EAD (and AOS) without having our 2018 return filed... so what do we do here? Choosing to lose out on that larger tax return seems like a bad option unless it's simply the only way forward.

 

I might have already found a solution to this problem, but I'm not sure, so I'd appreciate any input anyone can offer about this:

 

I have been googling a bit and came across something called an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is this something that I should be applying for to get around the problem I just outlined? That would allow us to go ahead and file our 2018 return, and thus be  able to answer 'yes' to Part 5 question 5.a on form I-864EZ, if I've understood things correctly (and then be eligible to receive that larger tax return)... have I got this right?

 

Thanks so much for reading and for any help you all can offer!

 

Edit -- feeling a little silly now that I see that there is a whole section of the forum dedicated to these kinds of questions...maybe the topic should be moved there? Sorry mods! and thanks!

Edited by TimonLovesSkylour

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, TimonLovesSkylour said:

Hi there everyone,

 

So, here's my question/issue: how do we answer Part 5, question 5.a (on page 3) of form I-864EZ - "Have you filed a Federal income tax return for each of the three most recent tax years?" if my fiancee (the US petitioner) and I haven't yet filed our 2018 return? Do we have to wait to file form I-864EZ (and obviously, the rest of my AOS application) until we've filed our return?

 

If so, this presents us with another problem, which is: due to the timing of my arrival into the US (late in the year last year), and our being married in December (and being crazy busy for a few months) we overlooked that I needed to apply for a social security number right after arriving in the US, before we got married. My I-94 is recently expired and at this point I'm going to have to wait for EAD to get an SSN. The thing is that as far as I understand things, I need that SSN for us to file our return jointly (and thus be able to claim me as a dependent and receive a larger tax return).

 

So we're kind of in a double bind here (I think -- maybe not if what I'm going to say a few lines down from here is right)- we can't file with me as a dependent on our taxes without first receiving EAD and accompanying SSN, and we can't apply for EAD (and AOS) without having our 2018 return filed... so what do we do here? Choosing to lose out on that larger tax return seems like a bad option unless it's simply the only way forward.

 

I might have already found a solution to this problem, but I'm not sure, so I'd appreciate any input anyone can offer about this:

 

I have been googling a bit and came across something called an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, is this something that I should be applying for to get around the problem I just outlined? That would allow us to go ahead and file our 2018 return, and thus be  able to answer 'yes' to Part 5 question 5.a on form I-864EZ, if I've understood things correctly (and then be eligible to receive that larger tax return)... have I got this right?

 

Thanks so much for reading and for any help you all can offer!

 

Edit -- feeling a little silly now that I see that there is a whole section of the forum dedicated to these kinds of questions...maybe the topic should be moved there? Sorry mods! and thanks!

2018 wont become "the most recent tax year" until the tax filing deadline on April 15th, 2019. If you submit AOS before then the most recent tax year will be 2017. Use that income amount and submit the 2017 tax return or return transcript with your I864**(see below).

 

If you want to file 2018 taxes as married filing jointly because you want to report that amount of income on your I864** instead of 2017, you still can. You would paper file and apply for an ITIN concurrently with your tax forms. 

 

**I havent looked at your timeline to see but I'm presuming by the details that you provided, you entered the US on a K1 Visa. If so, you cannot use an I864EZ as that is for I130 filers only. You would use an I864 instead.

See the I864EZ instructions page 1:

 

"Who May Use Form I-864EZ?

You may use Form I-864EZ if ALL the following conditions apply:

1. You are the person who filed or is filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for a relative being sponsored;

2. The relative you are sponsoring is the only person listed on Form I-130; and

3. The income you are using to qualify is based entirely on your salary or pension and is shown on one or more Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-2s provided by your employers or former employers."

 

You are excluded from using an I864EZ with both conditions 1 & 2.

 

Edited by K1visaHopeful

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12 hours ago, K1visaHopeful said:

2018 wont become "the most recent tax year" until the tax filing deadline on April 15th, 2019. If you submit AOS before then the most recent tax year will be 2017. Use that income amount and submit the 2017 tax return or return transcript with your I864**(see below).

 

If you want to file 2018 taxes as married filing jointly because you want to report that amount of income on your I864** instead of 2017, you still can. You would paper file and apply for an ITIN concurrently with your tax forms. 

 

**I havent looked at your timeline to see but I'm presuming by the details that you provided, you entered the US on a K1 Visa. If so, you cannot use an I864EZ as that is for I130 filers only. You would use an I864 instead.

See the I864EZ instructions page 1:

 

"Who May Use Form I-864EZ?

You may use Form I-864EZ if ALL the following conditions apply:

1. You are the person who filed or is filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for a relative being sponsored;

2. The relative you are sponsoring is the only person listed on Form I-130; and

3. The income you are using to qualify is based entirely on your salary or pension and is shown on one or more Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-2s provided by your employers or former employers."

 

You are excluded from using an I864EZ with both conditions 1 & 2.

 

Yes, I did enter the US on a K1, and hmm.. definitely should have read those instructions more carefully, thank you very much for the correction on that!

 

If I'm understanding you correctly, the only reason we'd need to report the 2018 income on the I-864 (rather than 2017) would be if 2017 income didn't meet the 125% of the poverty line minimum requirement, is that right?

 

If so then there's no need to do that as my fiancee's 2017 income meets the 125% poverty line minimum requirement. Is there some other reason we'd do that (report 2018 income as the most recent rather than 2017) that I'm missing?

 

It seems to me it's best to go ahead and report the 2017 income, that way we don't have to wait for our 2018 tax return to be processed, and we do want to get the AOS filed and processed as quickly as possible.

 

Thank you again for your help!

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, TimonLovesSkylour said:

Yes, I did enter the US on a K1, and hmm.. definitely should have read those instructions more carefully, thank you very much for the correction on that!

 

If I'm understanding you correctly, the only reason we'd need to report the 2018 income on the I-864 (rather than 2017) would be if 2017 income didn't meet the 125% of the poverty line minimum requirement, is that right?

 

If so then there's no need to do that as my fiancee's 2017 income meets the 125% poverty line minimum requirement. Is there some other reason we'd do that (report 2018 income as the most recent rather than 2017) that I'm missing?

 

It seems to me it's best to go ahead and report the 2017 income, that way we don't have to wait for our 2018 tax return to be processed, and we do want to get the AOS filed and processed as quickly as possible.

 

Thank you again for your help!

If you apply for AOS (and receive your NOA1) BEFORE the tax filing deadline on April 15th, 2019, 2017 is still the most recent tax year. If you've already filed 2018 taxes and WISH to report that income then you can use either 2017 or 2018 as "most recent year" up until April 15th. 

If you apply after April 15th, 2018 will only be accepted as most recent year.

Edited by K1visaHopeful

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29 minutes ago, K1visaHopeful said:

If you apply for AOS (and receive your NOA1) BEFORE the tax filing deadline on April 15th, 2019, 2017 is still the most recent tax year. If you've already filed 2018 taxes and WISH to report that income then you can use either 2017 or 2018 as "most recent year" up until April 15th. 

If you apply after April 15th, 2018 will only be accepted as most recent year.

Okay, that clarifies things further, thanks!

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