I noticed that there is a source of funds requirement for EB-5 processing. What if there are no tax returns for a person who has lived in the Middle East for about 20 years? Is it possible to submit the payslips, employment contracts, and bank statements as source of funds without the tax returns – considering that the income in the Middle East is tax free?
We would need to show with documentation that the law in the country does not require taxes. It also might be advisable to have an attorney licensed in that country provide a letter to the same effect explaining that no tax is required on the income that you received.
To prove source of funds providing secondary evidence is always acceptable and approvable. Of course, it is always advisable to provide primary evidence and if not available, provide the written reasons for the unavailability.
Tax returns are requested but not necessary. You just need to provide an explanation why you do not have it and secondary evidence, just like you listed.
You are not alone, many countries have no income tax. Submit whatever evidence you have of income over the past five years. Notarized statements from banks or accounting firms should suffice.
The burden is on you to show the money was lawfully earned or given to you by someone who lawfully earned it so whatever documentation you can provide is needed. Consider the sale of a piece of real estate as one that usually has good documentation.
Most EB-5 applicants are able to prove that their capital was lawfully obtained without needing to provide income tax returns. As you mentioned, some countries do not have any income tax, and other countries, such as China, have a very different tax reporting system than the United States. Therefore, tax returns are either unavailable or not helpful. Any probative and credible document may be used to prove a lawful source of investments funds in lieu of personal income tax returns.
You will have to present alternative documentation that is reasonably available to show the legal source of funds. This can be paystubs, employment contracts, bank statements, dividend payments, investment portfolios, wills, statements by your financial adviser, accountant, employer, or any other credible documentation.
While tax returns are very helpful, other documentation may be sufficient to prove the legal and lawful source of funds. Working closely with your EB-5 immigration attorney will be essential.
USCIS does not require any particular set of documents they need to see in order to approve the case. The regulations just require that the investment funds have been acquired through a legal source. Thus, we have used all those documents in lieu of providing the tax returns. Another way is to have your assets and liabilities audited and provide the audited financial statement.
If EB-5 investment funds come from savings, the best proof is three years of tax returns. If they are not available, you can provide other credible evidence (e.g. letter from employee, pay stubs, bank statements) that show that you legitimately obtained the funds.
Tax returns are only required to the extent they are applicable. If income in your home country is tax free, then you do not need to submit income tax returns but do need to provide a citation to the relevant tax law to prove it. Then, you can submit other documents, such as pay stubs, employment contracts, etc.
You should submit as much as you can. There is no absolute requirement that tax returns be submitted. In this case, evidence that tax returns are not filed in the country in question would be a good idea.
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