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Required File Prior Year Tax Return Qualify Mortgage?

Are you required to file your tax return for the prior year before you apply for a mortgage?

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru
, Mortgage and Finance Guru

As long as your mortgage is scheduled to close prior to April 15th, you should not be required to file your tax return for the prior year to get final approval for your mortgage. If your mortgage is scheduled to close after April 15th, you will likely be required to file your tax return for the prior year and provide a copy of the filed return to the lender to obtain final mortgage approval.  Please note that you are typically required to provide your two most recently filed tax returns to the lender when you apply for a mortgage, but depending on when your mortgage is scheduled to close, you may not be required to provide your tax return for the prior calendar year.  For example, if your mortgage is scheduled to close on March 31, 2018, the lender likely does not require that you provide your tax return for 2017 but likely requires you provide your filed tax returns for 2016 and 2015, which are your two most recently filed returns.  If your mortgage is scheduled to close on or after April 15th, 2018, however, the lender likely requires that you provide your tax return for 2017 and 2016.   

Please note that in addition to tax returns for the prior two years, lenders usually require additional documents such as W-2s for the prior two years as well as recent pay stubs, bank statements, brokerage account statements and debt account statements. 

Additionally, if you are self-employed, lenders typically require that you provide additional documentation including a profit and loss statement for your business and potentially business bank statements. We provide a comprehensive mortgage document checklist on FREEandCLEAR for you to review.

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About the author

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru

Michael is the co-founder of FREEandCLEAR. Michael possesses extensive knowledge about mortgages and finance and has been writing about mortgages for nearly a decade. His work has been featured in leading national and industry publications. More about Michael

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