May 09, 2021
2 min read

Proof of Income: How to Effectively Determine Your Clients’ Financial Status

Proof of income is essential for establishing the origins of the particular funds or assets which are the subjects of the business relationship between the company and its client and the transactions the company needs to execute on the behalf of its client (for instance, the sums being invested, deposited or remitted).

In certain circumstances, it is a good practice to verify the income of certain customers.

Proof of income can be required for the purpose of Enhanced Due Diligence, for example, when a customer is trying to execute a transaction of particularly large sums of money. The goal is to ensure that the motive for the business relationship between the firm and the customer, and the transactions undertaken on the customer’s behalf are compatible with what could be reasonably expected from that customer, considering their circumstances.

In our experience, to some, the necessity to obtain such proof might become a striking point, but in practice, income verification should not take too much time and effort when carried out correctly.

Necessary documents

Normally, when asking for the proof of income documents, company or institution clarifies essential details and provides users with a comprehensive copy of the materials they need to submit.

One of the easiest options that doesn’t even require any special income verification services is a proof of income letter, which determines and confirms a person’s income and employment status. This letter can be composed by a selected party (for example, an accountant or HR-manager) and should clearly state one’s basic income information, including workweek hours, annual income or wage per hour, and how one expects to maintain or enhance it in the future.

Additionally, a person might need to provide supporting documents as proof.

Typical proof of income documents are:

  • Pay stub;
  • Bank statement;
  • Federal Tax return for the previous year;
  • Wages and tax statement.

However, these documents may vary, considering the type of employment and place of work of the applicant.

Standard documents for PAYE (Pay As You Earn) employees include:

  • Copies of all payslips from the previous 2 (or more) calendar months or from the previous 8 (or more) weeks, depending on whether the applicant has been paying weekly or monthly.
  • Total income for the last tax year form that varies according to the applicant’s location.

In case if the applicant is a pensioner or has other sources of income, they might need to provide the following statements:

  • Annual pension;
  • Trust fund income;
  • Maintenance payments;
  • Regular state benefits (Social Security, unemployment, etc).

For self-employed individuals

  • Self Employed Wage and Tax Statements. In our practice, those are the most trustworthy proofs of income;
  • Bank Statements. We recommend submitting it in cases when the applicant has a record of steady business-related deposits.

However, each applicant should be considered on a case-by-case basis, and in some cases, it might be a reasonable decision to opt for professional proof of income services.