Self-Employed Income & Sponsoring an Alien

14 Jun 2019

“I have my own business but deducted a lot last year, due to the new addition to my business, so it looks like I didn’t make enough money. But I’ve got bank statements this year, and I’ve made enough money. Will it be okay to be a co-sponsor?”

As a self-employed individual or person who owns a business, it’s natural to take advantage of all the tax deductions you can to reduce your taxable income. You have every right to do it. Unfortunately, for USCIS and tax purposes, your income is basically what you pay taxes on.

Of course there are some oddball exceptions for people who have non-taxable income, but in most circumstances, they consider your income to be whatever you paid taxes on. So if your business took in $1,000,000 in revenue, but you had $980,000 in deductions, as far as USCIS is concerned, you made $20,000, not a million. So to meet the visa income requirement, it’s often easier to get approved if you have a minimum-wage job, as long as it is a W-2 job, than if you make millions on your own but get your taxable income down to nothing.

Your options are to use assets or to amend your tax return to claim enough income to get you over the limit. Yes, you’ll have to pay tax on that, but that is a tactic that people have done with some success.

Although many people have tried using top-line revenue as income, it never works. People try it with lawyers. People try it with accountants. All that matters is your income. And unfortunately, income is one of the areas where there is no wiggle room. It must be exactly right, and they’re not going to take your word for anything.

Disclaimer: The contents of this post were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Immigration is constantly changing, and old information often becomes outdated, including procedures, timelines, prices, and more. Take note of the publish date. For archival purposes, these posts will remain published, even if new information renders them obsolete. Do not make important life decisions based on this content. No part of this post should be considered legal advice, as RapidVisa is not a law firm. This content is provided free of charge for informational purposes only. If anything herein conflicts with an official government website, the official government website shall prevail.

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