What Type of Tax Transcript Do Immigrants Need?

What type of tax transcript do immigrants need? Get in touch with Tadeo & Silva Law for a detailed answer. Call us today.

Author: Massiel Silva Tadeo, Founder, Tadeo & Silva

Attorney Massiel Silva Tadeo is a partner and owner at The Tadeo & Silva Law Firm. She specializes in removal (deportation) defense, family immigration, and hardship waivers. Published on: November 30, 2023.

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IRS Transcript for Immigration

If you have filed a green card petition for a relative, you will need to fill out and submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, showing your agreement to be financially responsible for them. You will also need to submit evidence of your financial capacity.

Your tax documents are the most acceptable type of supporting documents you can provide. Although you can submit copies of your tax returns, the National Visa Center recommends submitting your tax transcript since it typically contains all the necessary information.

You can request your tax transcript through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. The trouble is that there are different types of tax transcripts, so you may not know which to request. In most cases, your tax return transcript would suffice for immigration purposes. However, there are situations where it may be appropriate to submit another type of tax transcript.

It is a good idea to consult your immigration attorney about the type of transcript to submit, as they can guide you based on your unique situation. Nevertheless, keep reading to discover the different types of transcripts and when it might be appropriate to file them.

Types of IRS Tax Transcripts and Their Usefulness for Immigration

The IRS provides five types of transcripts. All five are free to request via mailonline on the IRS website, or by calling for specialized assistance. You can choose to submit only your most recent tax transcript or file your transcripts for the past three years. This is a strategic decision that you should make based on what your income history looks like.

Tax Return Transcript

This is the document you need for almost any process requiring your income information. It includes most of the items on your tax return as filed with the IRS. It contains information on your income, deductions, refunds, mortgage interest, etc. However, it does not reflect changes made to the account after the return is processed.

Tax return transcripts are available for the following forms: 1040, 1065, 1120, 1120-A, 1120-H, 1120-L, and 1120S. Filing your tax return transcript will be sufficient for immigration purposes in almost all cases.

Tax Account Transcript

A tax account transcript contains information on the financial status of the account. It shows the account history and can be helpful in showing your tax payment history, showing a tax payment extension, etc. The account transcript also shows any adjustments you or the IRS made after the return was filed, which are not included in the return transcript.

If you corrected any errors on your tax return after filing, submitting this document to support your form I-864 to show those changes may be helpful. It does not go into detail with return information, only touching on items like taxable income, tax liability, and estimated tax payments.

Record of Account Transcript

This document is the most detailed transcript of the group. It combines the information in a return transcript with an account transcript. Your immigration lawyer may advise you to submit it if you made a change to your account after processing your return. The record of account transcript can show the full picture of your financial status and tax situation.

Wage and Income Transcript

A wage and income transcript shows data from third-party payments reported to the IRS. This includes income you have received from employers and payments you have made to other people. It is derived from information returns such as W-2s, 1099s, 1098s, and IRA contributions.

It contains wage or salary income information, federal income tax withholding, mortgage interest paid, etc. While it may contain some helpful information to prove your financial capacity for immigration purposes, a return transcript would likely suffice instead.

Verification of Non-Filing Letter

This transcript serves as proof from the IRS that you did not file a return for the year. This may be useful if you paid taxes in another country during the previous year or did not file taxes due to earning below the minimum income required. It does not provide information on your tax filing requirement status, however. So, you will likely need to accompany this with an exemption letter explaining why you didn’t file taxes.

Who Needs to File the Transcript

Form I-864 is typically required when a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is petitioning for a green card on behalf of a relative. The petitioner is expected to be the financial sponsor, so they will be the one required to provide the transcript. However, if there is a joint sponsor due to the primary petitioner being unable to meet the income requirement independently, the co-sponsor must also provide their tax transcript.

It helps to work with an immigration attorney during the whole green card application process. Experienced immigration lawyers can advise you on the necessary forms and documents to submit to increase your chances of a successful application. We can also help you with any hiccups during the process. For example, if your immigrant relative is deemed inadmissible, we may be able to get them an extreme hardship waiver or explore other possible solutions.

Additional Supporting Financial Documents

In addition to your tax transcripts, you may need to submit other documents with your affidavit of support, including:

  • Evidence of income: If the income depicted on your affidavit of support or tax transcript is below the poverty guidelines for the year you submitted it, you will need to submit evidence of your income. This can include evidence of current employment or self-employment, recent pay statements, etc. If you are retired or unemployed, you can provide a copy of proof of income from other sources.
  • Proof of assets: If you used assets to meet the USCIS minimum income requirements, you will need to submit copies of any documents proving that you own the said assets. The proof should establish the location, ownership, value, liens, and liabilities for each asset listed.
  • A copy of your tax extension form: If you filed an extension for the most recent tax year, you would need to submit a copy of your Form 4868 with your tax transcript for the previous year. Alternatively, you could accompany the transcript with a written and signed statement explaining that you filed an extension.

Let Tadeo & Silva Law Assist You

If you need help understanding or navigating the USCIS tax return requirement, reach out to us. At Tadeo & Silva Law, we can assist you with all tax issues affecting your immigration application. We can also help you navigate other related issues affecting your immigration application.

We pride ourselves on understanding the ins and outs of U.S. immigration law. We can provide aggressive and compassionate representation and support through your immigration journey. Contact us today and let us know how we can help you.

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