When preparing Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, the sponsor must disclose total income as reported on his/her federal income tax returns for the most recent three years. The sponsor is also required to attach a copy of (at least) the most recent year’s federal income tax return. But what if your income was below the IRS required level, and you were not required to file a federal income tax return?
Not Required to File a federal Income Tax Return
Not everyone is required to file a federal income tax return each year. Generally, if your total income for the year doesn’t exceed the standard deduction plus one exemption and you aren’t a dependent to another taxpayer, then you don’t need to file a federal tax return. The amount of income that you can earn before you are required to file a tax return also depends on the type of income, your age and your filing status.
In these cases, you’ll need to attach evidence that your income was below the threshold to file an IRS federal income tax return. If your situation is straightforward, evidence can be as simple as submitting a personal declaration that you were not required to file a tax return. Here’s a sample declaration which you can adapt for your own use.
Additionally, you may want to include other forms of evidence such as W-2s or 1099s that evidence your income level was below the IRS required level to file a tax return.
Use of a Joint Sponsor
Keep in mind, if you were not required to file a federal income tax return, it’s also likely that your income is not sufficient to support the intending immigrant. Your affidavit will most likely require the additional income from other household members or a joint sponsor.