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Are tax returns needed for a refinance

By: Editorial Staff

Is it possible to refinance a mortgage without showing income tax returns?

Yes. In most cases, a lender will require tax returns only when a borrower is self-employed, or has rental/partnership income or in some cases someone whose income is largely paid via bonus. The income documentation needed for a wage-earner is typically a recent pay stub showing year-to-date earnings and, depending on the findings generated by the automated underwriting system, possibly the previous year’s W-2.

If you’re self-employed, you will probably have to provide tax returns to verify your income. The “stated income” loans that got us into so much trouble leading up to the meltdown of 2008 are no longer available.

Most self-employed borrowers take advantage of every possible write-off to keep their tax liability low. This may come back to haunt them, however, when they go to apply for a mortgage. As the adage goes: Self-employed people either like their tax bill or their mortgage rate, not both. ?

Hope this is helpful.

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