Real Estate
February 23, 2019
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How to get a mortgage without providing tax returns

By: Scott Sheldon
September 28, 2018

If you’re looking to purchase or refinance a house providing tax returns can sometimes just be inconvenient especially if your tax returns have various extending schedules. Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking to borrow money on a mortgage without providing the laundry list of financial documentation most banks and lenders require…

Not all banks specifically require tax returns for getting a mortgage. If you are self-employed and it is your desire to use your self-employment income to try to qualify for mortgage financing, you’ll have to provide either two years of tax returns or one year of income tax returns if you’ve been in business for the most recent five years.

If it is your desire to try to qualify without providing tax returns without meeting one of the two above items you will need to provide tax returns and perhaps change loan programs, pay off debt, obtain a co-signor as a possible solution if your income is not large enough to support the debt.

If, however, you are a W-2 employee and you don’t receive rental income or social security income, or any other form of income and you don’t have any other side businesses, you need not worry about providing your tax returns to qualify. Supplying your W-2s for the most recent two years along with 30 days of pay stubs will work in lieu of tax returns. This documentation is sufficient per Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as on other programs including the FHA. While you may not need to provide a tax return you still however must file your returns and have them IRS validated. Not providing tax returns for getting a mortgage is not a recipe for granting a loan to a consumer who has not filed a tax return.

Other scenarios include if you are not legally required to file tax returns, you need not provide returns for getting a mortgage. This of course is based on the annual amount of your taxable income. Some forms of non-taxable income which can be used for qualifying include some forms of social security income and pension income. These income streams would need to be documented via awards letters directly from the institution providing the income, not bank statement deposits.

Based on your financial situation you may or may not need to provide tax returns when qualifying to buy a home. Providing tax returns is not a necessary financial component of buying or refinancing a home.

Scott Sheldon is a local mortgage lender, with a decade of experience helping consumers purchase and refinance primary homes second homes and investment properties. Learn more at