Employment (Income) Verification Letter

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Updated October 24, 2022

An employment verification letter, or proof of employment, is a form that verifies the income or salary earned by an employed individual. This type of verification letter is commonly used when someone seeks housing or is applying for a mortgage. It is used to confirm that an individual has a secure job and an income stream capable of affording the payment in question.

What is Being Verified?

  • Name of the employer
  • Employee’s title or position
  • Start date
  • Pay ($)
  • Status (part or full-time)

Table of Contents


How to Verify Employment (5 steps)

  1. Look Up the Business Entity
  2. Call the Employer
  3. Obtain Past Pay Stubs
  4. Acquire Past Two Years of Tax Returns
  5. Run a Credit Report

Step 1 – Look Up the Business Entity

Woman on laptop searching for business principal

Every state has a Secretary of State’s office or equivalent that allows a user to search its database to search the principals of the business entity. Request the individual in question to obtain an employment verification letter from the principal or owner of the business. After you’ve received the letter, you can check online to see if the person that signed the letter matches the company profile with the state.

Check Business Entity Status – By State

Step 2 – Call the Employer

woman calling employer for verification

In order to ensure that the employer actually signed the letter, it is best to call during business hours. If the person that signed is not available, it is best to ask for a call-back or to ask for someone else who may be able to help with the verification.

Step 3 – Obtain Past Pay Stubs

woman requesting applicant for a bank statement

When asking for the letter, it may be best to ask for the past two pay stubs from the employer. If this is not available, then it is best to request a bank statement from the previous month from the individual. This will give you not only their income but also show their spending habits and prove that they are capable of being financially responsible.

Step 4 – Acquire the Past Two Years of Tax Returns

closeup of laptop screen showing IRS website

Commonly, individuals are paid with cash if they are self-employed. In these instances, it is best to get, at the very least, the past two years of income taxes. Everyone in the United States is required to pay taxes to the federal government. Therefore, if the individual is making any kind of money, there will be a return on file that they can easily obtain.

*The requester may also ask for the individual to submit IRS Form 4506-T, which asks the federal government to verify the self-employed individual’s income from the previous year. This takes about one business day and is free.

Step 5 – Run a Credit Report

woman performing an online search on tablet

If none of the above solutions seem promising, it is best to obtain a credit report from the individual. This can be easily completed by collecting the person’s information through the Background Check Authorization Form. Once you have all the necessary information, you can perform the search through Equifax, Experian, or Transunion.