Selling Guide

Published June 02, 2021

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What are the requirements when a W-2 is required to document income?

Requirements — W–2s

IRS W-2 forms must cover the most recent one- or two-year period, based on the documentation requirements for the particular income type. The W-2 forms must clearly identify the borrower as the employee.

"Most recent" W-2 is defined as the W-2 for the calendar year prior to the current calendar year. Alternative documentation, such as an IRS Wage and Income (W-2) Transcript, a written Request for Verification of Employment (Form 1005 or Form 1005(S)) (see below) or the final year-to-date paystub, may be used as long as adequate information is provided.

Documents must be computer-generated or typed by the borrower’s employer(s). Documents must clearly identify the employer’s name and source of information. The documents must clearly identify the borrower as the employee.

The information must be complete and legible.

The original source of the information must be a third party, such as the borrower's human resources department, personnel office, payroll department, company's payroll vendor, or supervisor.

For additional information, see B3-3.1-02, Standards for Employment Documentation.

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