Providing proof of income is a necessity in a number of situations, whether you are applying for a mortgage, signing a rental agreement or attempting to secure financing for your next automotive purchase.
Luckily there are a lot of ways to let third parties know how much you earn, whether or not your current job provides you with a pay stub each week or month, so here are just a few of the best options for modern workers.
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Creating a pay stub to show proof of income
First of all, it is worth pointing out that even if you do not currently receive pay stubs in spite of being employed by an organization, or if you are a freelancer who receives income from several different sources, you can still create your own.
It is simply a case of choosing from several designs of different fake pay stubs, adding your own details and creating a sharable digital document or printable file so that you have the proof you need to support whatever you are applying for.
Be sure to add not only your earnings, but also any deductions that have been made, so that the stub you generate is entirely accurate. Of course if you do receive pay stubs from your employer, using these will always be the easiest and most precise option.
Accessing your tax returns
Another widely accepted proof of income is your annual tax return, and this can be an especially potent piece of evidence because it covers a whole year’s worth of your earnings, rather than a smaller slice which might not be entirely representative.
If you file your returns digitally, then you should be able to access a digital copy of your most recent returns without issue. In the case that you are a freelancer or an independent contractor, you may need to provide several years’ worth of returns to prove that your income is consistent, which is worth bearing in mind. Working with an accountant can make life easier in this context.
Handing over bank statements
Bank statements provide an overview of the cash that enters and leaves your main account, and so of course in most instances this will be an ideal way of showing how much you earn when the time arises.
The problem with bank statements as a proof of income is that they may be suboptimal if you do not have a permanent role with a fixed salary. Once again freelancers are at a disadvantage here, but you have little option but to be honest, and perhaps combine bank statements with other forms of proof mentioned here in order to give a full and fair assessment of your earning power.
Getting support from your employer
A supporting letter from your employer if you are in a permanent position, or correspondence from your clients if you are a freelancer, can also be required when you are asked to prove your income.
This is a very common request from employees and contractors, so do not be shy about asking for both evidence of your earnings as well as a character reference from the people who pay you.
Documenting your bonuses & workplace incentives
Lastly, if your job is driven heavily by performance-related pay, or a large proportion of your salary is provided in the form of bonuses or commission payments, then you will of course have to supply the documents which prove this.
At the end of the day, every scrap of evidence you can deliver will help sell you to a would-be lender or landlord, so go above and beyond if you want to increase your chances of success.