How to Show Proof Of Income When Self-Employed

Updated on

For many self-employed individuals, juggling their paperwork can be quite a challenge. Although self-employment essentially means working under your terms, it doesn’t mean that you can forego all your credit responsibilities. Even self-employed people must show official documentation such as proof of income when seeking loans, filing taxes, and insurance purposes. Since such individuals don’t receive pay stubs with a breakdown of their earnings, deductions, and taxes, completing these applications can be difficult. However, this doesn’t mean that self-employed people aren’t entitled to these services.

Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF

Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues

Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more


Paycheck stubs are arguably the best way to provide proof of income when seeking various services. Check stubs are thorough, which makes them perfect for presenting official financial information. Still, since self-employed people don't receive these documents from an employer, they can opt for an independent contractor pay stub. These are online tools that allow self-employed individuals to create check stubs for themselves. Online contractor paycheck stub generators use templates and automated systems to ensure accuracy and simplicity.

Understanding Proof Of Income

Essentially, proof of income is official documentation that outlines how much a person earns. They also show the total earnings a person gets over a certain period, such as a year. Regardless of which document a person uses to declare proof of income, they are vital for purchasing rental spaces, making substantial purchases, acquiring loans, and more.

Although these documents are relatively easy for employees to obtain, they can be a little more difficult for self-employed people to get. Many freelancers may find it challenging to track their earnings over a certain period. One of the principal reasons for this is the difficulty self-employed people get when separating personal and work-related finances. Still, there are plenty of documents that self-employed individuals can use to provide proof of income.

Showing Proof of Income for Self-Employed Individuals

Although managing your paperwork, such as check stubs, may seem arduous, it's relatively easy for self-employed people to show proof of income. Here are other ways you can provide evidence of your earnings if you're self-employed.

  • Your Annual Tax Returns

Every working adult must file tax returns every year. For this reason, tax returns present a suitable way to provide proof of income. When filing taxes, you should receive appropriate returns for a given year that state your annual income. Whether you're a business owner or freelancer, your tax returns should be based on your income throughout the year. Even so, the downside of using tax returns to show proof of earnings is that they may not be completely accurate. It's possible to overlook income from smaller projects which may help increase your overall revenue. While it may not seem like much, these seemingly insignificant earnings could improve your credit and help you get more from lenders.

  • Profit and Loss Statements

For business owners, keeping profit and loss statements is nothing short of compulsory. While this may not be the case for freelancers and other self-employed individuals, they should consider it. Essentially, profit and loss statements showcase all earnings, business-related deposits, and expenditures of an enterprise. With this information, any self-employed individual can acquire the aid and services they require. Freelancers can easily make their profit and loss statements if they don't officially keep them. Moreover, many lenders and creditors will even work with self-employed individuals to help create these documents.

  • Bank Statements

Another excellent resource to use for tracking and showcasing earnings when you're self-employed is bank statements. Even so, people should always learn to separate personal deposits and expenses from those allocated to their businesses. For this reason, it would be shrewd to open a separate bank account for your business if you're self-employed. Doing this will help you avoid misidentifying your earnings and expenses, which can be detrimental when seeking financial aid or acquiring property. Even so, if you're self-employed, you can make use of bank statements to provide evidence of income.

Tips For Proving Income When Self-Employed

Here are some tips to help self-employed individuals keep an accurate record of their business transactions.

  • Independent Contractors

Many people usually get confused when differentiating between independent contractors and conventional employees. The reason behind this is that sometimes independent contractors work in situations that appear as regular jobs. Still, there are clear criteria that determine whether one is an independent contractor or not. Still, independent contractors are self-employed parties. For this reason, independent contractors should use the 1099 forms from all the jobs they do throughout the year to show proof of income. Alternatively, there are numerous astute check stub generators that include an option for independent contractors.

  • Small Business Owners

For entrepreneurs who own and run SMEs, there are several ways to provide proof of earnings. However, the most effective way to do this is by using; gross receipts or sales or net profit or loss as stated on the Schedule C tax form. The Schedule C tax form is an official document that outlines a company's gross revenue and net profit or loss. Since these documents provide an in-depth analysis of a firm's financials throughout a year, they're arguably the best way to show proof of earnings. Schedule C forms have dedicated sections to outline expenses and exhibit a company's income through the bottom line or profit. What's more, since they are official documents that business owners give to the IRS, they represent proof of self-employment income. Still, there are several other documents that proprietors of small businesses can use to show proof of income, including bank statements, balance sheets, and profit and loss statement.

Final Thoughts

There's no denying that self-employment can be incredibly exciting and liberating. However, there are plenty of factors that can make self-employment a pain in the neck. For instance, it can be rather frustrating when you have to provide proof of income for insurance purposes or when seeking financial assistance. Since self-employed people don't receive income documents from an employer, this can easily seem like a tall order. Fortunately, as highlighted in this article, showing evidence of your earnings as a self-employed individual is easier than you may think.