From Hong Kong to Singapore: Incorporation Services with Spring Discounts!Explore Today!

What Is Proof of Income? Type of Documents & How To Obtain It

content image

Proof of income requires varying documents depending on your employment status, including tax returns, pay stubs, and business financial statements.

Proof of income is required in various contexts, such as loan applications, renting properties, and securing mortgages, highlighting its importance in financial dealings.

Maintaining precise and up-to-date financial records is crucial for quickly providing proof of income when required, ensuring smoother financial transactions and verifications.

Proof of income is a critical component in many financial transactions, serving as evidence of an individual's or business's earnings. It plays a significant role in applications for loans, mortgages, rental agreements, and certain forms of government assistance. 

The requirements for proof of income can vary significantly between employed individuals, self-employed professionals, and business owners.

For businesses, proof of income will usually be asked for in the form of tax returns, cash flow statements, or other official financial documents from authorized institutions. 

When Do You Need To Provide Proof of Income?

Proof of income is commonly requested in situations where it's important to verify your financial stability and ability to meet monetary obligations. 

This is common practice in personal finance contexts, such as applying for a mortgage, renting an apartment, securing a personal loan, or obtaining a credit card. Landlords and lenders typically require this evidence to ensure the applicant has a stable and sufficient income to cover payments. 

In terms of employment, proof of income may be needed for visa applications or to qualify for certain benefits or subsidies. 

Essentially, any transaction or agreement that involves financial trust will likely require you to present some form of proof of income to validate your financial stability and ability to meet financial obligations.

Statrys mobile application dashboard showing a total balance in a business account.

Types of Proof of Income

The types of documents typically required as proof of income vary but are usually most conveniently accessed through your financial services provider, such as your bank or FinTech business account platform.

Type of Individual


How to Obtain It

Business Owners

Business Tax Returns

Obtain from your accountant or directly from the tax authority's website where you filed your returns.

Business Bank Statements

Request from your bank or download from your online banking platform.

Financial Statements

Prepared by an accountant or using your business accounting software.

Pay Stubs (if paying yourself a salary)

Generate through your payroll software or have your accountant prepare them.

Employed Individuals

Recent pay stubs

Request copies from your employer's HR or payroll department.

Employment verification letter confirming salary

Request an official letter from your employer's HR department.

Earnings Statements (e.g., W-2 forms, P60, IR8A, IR56B, etc.)

Normally provided by your employer at the end of the fiscal year; request copies from HR if lost.

Self-Employed Individuals

Tax Returns

File annually through the IRS or your country's tax authority; obtain copies from the same.

Bank Statements

Obtain from your bank or through your online banking platform.

Profit and Loss Statements

Prepare yourself using accounting software or consult an accountant.

Invoices and Contracts

Keep copies of all issued invoices and signed contracts for services rendered or products sold.

Proof of Income for Business Owners

Business owners often need to provide proof of income for a variety of reasons, particularly because they don't have the same type of financial documentation as salaried employees.

The documentation required can vary depending on the nature of the business and the specific requirements of the requesting entity (e.g., a bank for a loan application). 

Note that if you do not separate your personal account from your business account, this process may be quite challenging, meticulous, and slow.

Typical documents include:

  • Business Tax Returns: These documents provide a clear picture of the business's annual earnings and are fundamental for proving business income.
  • Business Bank Statements: Similar to personal bank statements for those with self-employment income, these statements reflect the business's cash flow and can verify income.
  • Financial Statements: This includes the balance sheet, profit and loss statements, and cash flow statements. Prepared and certified by an accountant, these documents offer a detailed view of the business's financial health and income.
  • Pay Stubs (for Business Owners Paying Themselves a Salary): If a business owner pays themselves a salary, pay stubs can serve as proof of personal income. Note that business owners may need to create pay stubs as a formal record of income.

Tip: To simplify your accounting, including proof of income, you can use SaaS (software as a service) solutions.

Proof of Income for Self-Employed Individuals Using Personal Accounts

A self-employed person, such as freelancers, consultants, and gig economy workers, face a slightly more complex situation. Since they might not receive regular pay stubs, they must rely on alternative documents to prove their self-employment income. For those using personal accounts for their business transactions, the following can serve as proof of income:

Tax Returns: The most comprehensive document showing annual earnings. Self-employed professionals can use their tax return forms, which usually include details of profits and losses from their business endeavors.

Bank Statements: Personal bank statements can indicate income, especially if the individual diligently records all business transactions in a separate account or clearly marks them.

Profit and Loss Statements: A well-maintained and certified profit and loss statement can serve as proof of income. It should detail revenues, costs, and expenses over a specific period, demonstrating the individual's earnings.

Invoices and Contracts: A collection of invoices sent to clients and contracts can also support an individual's claims about their income, especially when paired with bank statements confirming the payments. Note that this document can be used as supporting evidence but is rarely accepted as proof on its own.  

What Can’t Be Used as Proof of Income?

Certain documents cannot be used as valid proof of income due to their lack of formal recognition and verifiability. For example, informal receipts, handwritten notes attesting to income, and future income projections or promises of earnings are not considered reliable proof. 

Similarly, mere personal claims of wealth or assets without supporting documents, like bank statements or property deeds, cannot be used as proof of income. Unofficial loan agreements or IOUs also fail to meet the standards required for proof of income.

Financial institutions and landlords require officially recognized and verifiable documents that accurately depict an individual's historical income. This ensures the proof of income is credible and legally valid, providing a reliable indication of the person's financial health.


In conclusion, proof of income plays a critical role in establishing financial reliability and securing the trust of financial institutions, landlords, and other parties. 

Whether it's through tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, or financial statements, having the right documentation ready can ease the process of proving your financial stability to lenders, landlords, and other entities.

It's crucial to remember that not all documents can serve as valid proof of income. Financial institutions and landlords seek official, verifiable documents that accurately reflect historical income, ensuring that the proof presented is both credible and legally recognized. 

This underscores the importance of maintaining accurate financial records and being prepared with the appropriate documents when needed.

By understanding the requirements and preparing the necessary documentation in advance, you can navigate these financial transactions with confidence, ensuring that you meet the obligations and opportunities that come your way.

Statrys mobile application dashboard showing a total balance in a business account.


What Would Be Considered Proof of Income?

Proof of income can include documents like tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, financial statements, and employment verification letters. 

For business owners, this also extends to business tax returns and certified financial documents detailing the company's cash flow and profitability.

How Do I Make My Own Proof of Income?


What Is the Best Document for Proof of Income?


Looking for a business account?