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What Are Income Verification Documents?

Income verification documents should play a major role in your tenant screening process. Here's what you need to know.

Apr 10, 2021 by Aly J. Yale

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Type of Worker Document Tips
Full-time/salaried Employment verification letter

Tax returns


Bank statements

Pay stubs
Don't just rely on annual statements (tax returns, W-2s). Asking for recent bank statements is always smart, as it ensures the tenant has consistent recent income with which to cover the rent.
Freelancer/contractor/gig worker 1099s

Tax returns

Bank statements

Recent invoices/sales receipts

Reports from payment platforms (PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL), Venmo, etc.)

Tax transcript
Request at least three of these items, and back up their earnings with recent bank statements (check the number and volume of deposits over the last few months).
Retired/unemployed Social Security benefits statement

Workers' compensation letter

Pension distribution statement

Severance statements

Unemployment statements
Make sure you're aware of any expiration dates on workers' compensation, unemployment, or severance payments to ensure the payments will span your lease.
Additional forms of income Annuity statement

Court-ordered award letters

Interest and dividend statements
Make sure you're aware of any expiration dates on annuities or court-ordered awards to ensure the payments will span your lease.

Chart by author. Note: These are just general recommendations. Make sure to check with your financial or tax advisor for more personalized guidance.

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