k1 visa tax return

K1 Visa Tax Return vs Tax Transcript: Which Should You Send To NVC?

Some of you may know that I received a request for evidence because we sent in the wrong tax documents with our I-129F petition. USCIS is very specific when they ask for the K1 visa tax return so be prepared to send the right information or face weeks or months of delay.

So, does the National Visa Center clearly require that you submit tax transcripts instead of your tax returns? Well, here’s what the NVC website says:

“The 125 percent of the federal poverty guideline minimum income requirement, the most recent year’s tax return, and other requirements only apply when Form I-864 is needed. Applicants presenting Form I-134 will need to show that their U.S. sponsor’s income is 100 percent of the federal poverty guideline.”

Based on the above wording, it seems as if sending tax returns is correct. But, here’s where things get a bit tricky.

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When you file your own tax returns each year, you would keep a copy for your records before sending them to the IRS, right? Well, who’s to say that you DID in fact send the return to the IRS at all?

This is where the problem lies.

Tax returns don’t actually prove you’ve submitted them to the IRS and you can pretty much put down that you made a million dollars last year or whatever else you’d like to claim.

Should You Send Tax Returns or Tax Transcripts?

Since I’ve already received a request for evidence (RFE) because we sent in 3 years tax returns, I recommend that you send tax transcripts.

Tax returns and transcripts are essentially the same thing. The only difference is who it’s coming from. The NVC prefers that you submit tax transcripts that are sent to you directly from the IRS because it shows that you’ve submitted them and should be more accurate.

You may have already submitted a K1 visa tax return to NVC before you read this post, don’t worry too much about. They will likely send you an RFE and give you the opportunity to submit the transcripts instead.

This will delay your K1 visa processing at NVC by a few weeks to a month at most.

But, for those lucky few that don’t receive an RFE for sending tax returns, your case will continue to be processed by NVC and transferred to the US consulate.

I recommend that you still request the tax transcripts from the IRS just in case the consular office wants to see them.

Case Example:

Lorraine recently got engaged to Luis in Mexico and quickly filed the I-129F petition for him. After 5 months of waiting, their petition has been approved and forwarded to NVC for processing. The I-134 affidavit of support requires that Lorraine submit supporting evidence of her income to be a sponsor on the K1 visa application.

Thankfully, Lorraine read this post and knew to send in tax transcripts instead of tax returns saving her lots of time and headache. She requested the transcripts on the IRS website and submitted them to NVC along with the I-134.

How To Request IRS Tax Transcripts Online

It’s ridiculously easy to request your tax transcripts. When we had to do it, I believe there was some instructions on where to request them from on the RFE letter we received.

If you didn’t receive instructions, follow these steps to request tax transcripts from the IRS:

Step 1: Go to IRS.gov Website To Submit Your Request

k1 visa tax return

First thing to do is visit the IRS website and select “get your tax record“. This should be right on the front page when you visit the website.

Once you click on this, it will take you to a second page that says “get your tax transcript”. You will be give two options to either request the transcripts electronically or by mail.

Step 2: Submit Your Request For Tax Transcripts

Get transcripts online (you will need the following):


  • SSN, date of birth, filing status and mailing address from latest tax return,
  • your email account,
  • your personal account number from:
    • credit card,
    • mortgage,
    • home equity loan,
    • home equity line of credit or
    • car loan, and
  • a cell phone with your name on the account.


Get transcripts by mail (you will need the following):

  • SSN or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN),
  • date of birth, and
  • mailing address from your latest tax return.

If you choose to request to receive your tax transcripts online, you will have instant access to print out the document. But, if you choose to have it mailed to you, expect to wait 5-10 business for it to arrive.

k1 visa tax return

Step 3: Submit The Tax Transcripts To NVC

The final step in the process is to respond to the RFE by including the original letter sent by NVC and that tax transcripts. Include whatever other evidence or documents were asked for on the RFE.

Remember, you only have one chance to respond to an RFE. Be sure that you are including everything that the NVC needs to complete processing of your case.

If You Haven’t Filed Your Recent Tax Returns

In America, filing your taxes is pretty much a requirement if you make more than $10,000 as a single person ($20,000 as a couple).

Why is this? Great question!

Well, if you make less than this amount, you are barely getting by and will not owe any taxes to the IRS. If you file, it’s likely that the IRS will owe YOU money instead, especially if you qualify for child tax credits.

I won’t get into too much details on filing your taxes properly but I’ll assume that your American fiance made more than this amount if they are trying to sponsor you on the I-134 affidavit of support.

So, in the case of not filing your K1 visa tax return when you required to do so, you will need to do it now. Yup, file your back taxes and get a beating from the IRS.

Your foreign fiance is worth it, right?

If, on the other hand, you weren’t required to file because you didn’t make enough be sure to include a letter explaining this. Then it’s time to find a joint sponsor to help meet the minimum income requirement on form I-134.

Case Example:

Bill is petitioning for his Guatemalan fiance and their I-129F petition was recently approved.Bill hasn’t filed his taxes in 4 years because he has been in and out of jobs. He is now self-employed and hasn’t kept track of exactly  how much he made last year and just forgot to submit his tax returns.

Their case is now with NVC and Bill will be required to submit the last 1-3 years tax returns if he wants to sponsor his fiance alone. He decides to file his back taxes and take the penalty hit because he makes enough money to sponsor his fiance and can’t find someone willing to sign the I-134 affidavit of support.

Final Thoughts On K1 Visa Tax Return

The important thing when it comes to filling out the I-134 is that you provide a lot of supporting evidence. Claiming you make enough money on the form isn’t enough. You must show evidence of your annual income and current employment.

If meeting the income requirement is difficult for you, you can use assets instead of income. You may also want to consider using the beneficiary’s assets to help meet the requirement.

Whether to submit tax returns or tax transcripts shouldn’t be a hard decision to make. To be safe, I recommend that you submit the transcripts sent directly to you from the IRS. By doing this, you avoid the chances of getting an RFE and delaying the approval of your K1 visa.

Finally, if you’ve been dodging the IRS and haven’t filed taxes in years. Don’t worry – USCIS isn’t going to report you but you still need to provide tax transcripts.

This means that you’ll need to file back taxes and pay any fees and penalties that the IRS will levy against you. Don’t ever try to outsmart the IRS because not only can they fine you but it’s possible to serve jail time for not paying your taxes.

Are you considering whether to submit the K1 visa tax return or tax transcript? Now that you know more about the difference between them, which one will you send? Let me know in the comments below.



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