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When “Not Applicable” is NOT Applicable

Written by Wil Whalen, Spectrum Enterprises

In the land of Tax Credits, if there is one form we spend more time clarifying, it’s the Employment Verification Form.  Employers often seem lackadaisical when it comes to completing these forms.  Often, employers are not familiar with the LIHTC program and therefore don’t understand the importance of not only completing the form, but completing it correctly.  And as we all know, they love to leave blanks, put in dashes or lines or just populate the form with “N/A.” None of this actually answers the questions.

When it comes to employment “not applicable” is often not applicable.  Not all jobs have the potential to earn tips or commissions, but many jobs have the potential to earn bonuses.  Every job has the potential for a raise.  So, if an employer answers “N/A” for these questions, follow-up and get them to commit to an answer.  A server in a restaurant is most likely to earn tips, so you know that “N/A” doesn’t apply here.  A retail employee isn’t likely to get tips, so you may think “N/A” fits here, but what about commissions or bonuses?  The last thing you want is for a tenant to go over income at the first annual certification due to an increase in employment income and employment verification full of blanks and “N/A.”  By performing your due diligence with the employer at move-in, you will save yourself a lot of heartache down the road.

Remember that correctly documenting a tenant’s income is your responsibility, not that of the employer.  You think an employer dislikes clarifying information on the employment verification form at move-in? Just wait until you ask them to clarify that same information one year later.


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