What is proof of income?

Proof of Income is a set of documents required to verify an individual’s or a business’s monthly or annual income. Proof of income helps financial institutions determine a person or company’s ability to make payments when they apply for credit. This also helps the financial institution to trace the origin of the person’s or business’s income and check whether it is from a clean source. 

What Documents Serve as Proof of Income?

Most financial institutions inform their potential clients of the authentic documents and affidavits they need to submit; these may differ from company to company or as per the transaction, like for credit cards, mortgages, business loans or unsecured personal loans.

In some cases, only a Proof of Income Letter suffices. It outlines the person’s occupation, employment status and income. An accountant or HR can draft this proof of income letter for an organization’s employee. This letter will detail annual income, the number of work hours per week, and some information about how that income will be sustained or improved in the future.

Financial institutions generally ask their clients to present any of the following documents as proof of income:

1. Pay slips

2. Bank statements (three to six months)

3. Tax return statements

4. Wage and Tax Statements

For PAYE (pay as you earn) employees:

1. Payslips for the past two or more months

2. Identification documents

3. Passport size photograph

4. Total annual income

Other sources of income – pension or other investments will require some of the following documents:

1. Annual pension

2. Trust fund income

3. Maintenance bills

4. Benefit Payments

Self-employed individuals may be asked to produce the following:

1. Wage and Tax Statements

2. Bank statements (of a specified period)

What is Proof of Income used for?

Financial institutions may need proof of income from their customers for several reasons. Most often, they need proof of income to verify that the sources of funds are legitimate and regular. At the same time, the amount matches the one the customer stated in their applications or details.

Here are some reasons why proof of income is important:

1. Educational institutions may have quotas for those that fall into a specific income group.

2. Access to scholarships for those with low income.

3. Access to loans from various financial institutions.

4. Certain job applications require proof of income for salary calculation.

5. It can help applicants in availing medical benefits and subsidies.

6. Help them get loans from different government agencies.

7. Access to various types of pensions.

8. Access to natural disaster relief.

9. Financial aid for veterans.

10. Getting access to free food ration.

11. Access business grants or loans under specific criteria.

Proof of income is especially important when it comes to businesses and their clients. The business will need to verify that its clients have access to such income and that it is legitimate income. This is especially so when a business conducts financial transactions such as receiving investments, making investments for them or other remittances.

This is also important for banks and other financial institutions when onboarding a customer.

Proof of Income is essential to perform a credit analysis. This information can be garnered from financial information agencies, credit insurance, client banks, and payment history to corroborate the documents and information provided by a client.

Analyzing Income Beyond Proof of Income

While proof of income acts as a crucial document, companies need to check several other aspects:

Fixed charges on assets

Suppose business owners have fixed charges over company assets, meaning they will be compensated in the event of liquidation. In that case, they are likely to take more risks, which means more risk for a financial institution lending to them.

Unsecured creditor

A financial institution must consider the size of an individual or company’s bad debts relative to net worth. If the net worth significantly outweighs bad debts, the risk is lower.

Late charges

Overdue payments regularly, several instances of late charges, or changes in filing periods are potential warning signs that the individual’s income is poorly managed or susceptible to unexpected risks.

What is the bottom line?

Whether onboarding a new client, considering a strategic partnership or hiring new top-level employees, companies, businesses and financial institutions need clear insight into whom they are dealing with.

Proof of income can be complex to obtain, especially to form an accurate, error-free picture that considers all factors. It is best to partner with specialists who are tied up with qualified partners, have a proven track record, and use the latest tech to guarantee error-free results. Take a look at Hyperverge’s ID verification and vetting solutions here.


What documents are needed to show proof of income?

An income letter can be used as proof of income. In general, these are the documents needed: 1. Pay slips 2. Bank statements (three to six months) 3. Tax return statements 4. Wage and Tax Statements

What can be shown as income proof?

1. Parent’s income certificate 2. Income tax returns 3. Employers’ form 16 4. Salary certificate

What does proof of income mean?

Proof of income documentation shows an individual’s earnings for a specific period.