This is one of the most important parts of the form, because insufficient financial resources could result in you being classified as a public charge.
US Federal Tax Returns: You could have a problem if you failed to file a US federal tax return during the last three years when required by law to do so. Consult the IRS website to determine whether you were required to file a federal tax return. Remember, it is better to file a late tax return before completing Form DS-5540 than to answer “no” to the question of whether you filed a federal tax return during a year in which you were required to do so.
Income: Be sure to rely on the official exchange rate to answer Question 8, if you received income in a currency other than US dollars.
Assets: Be sure to list all of your assets — savings account, property such as real estate or jewelry, etc. The greater your assets, the smaller the chance that you will be classified as a public charge. High assets can also compensate for low income, at least to an extent. Be sure to value your assets reasonably.
Debts and liabilities: Your debts will be set off against your assets to determine your financial status. Be sure to include all of your debts — you will be required to submit a credit report with your application.
Public benefits: The use of public benefits, such as food stamps, by you or your household can be held against you unless an exemption applies — even if you applied for but were turned down for these benefits. See the USCIS website for an explanation of which benefits will not be held against you. Beware — your entire application could be jeopardized if you don’t answer “no” to Question 13.