350 Bleecker Street #5EF
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Condo in Midtown East
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Preparing co-op approval package, am self-employed. Package asks for "employment verification" letter, which would obviously be a letter written about myself, by myself. Not exactly "verification".
Broker said "get your acountant to write a letter", but my long-time accountant will not sign anything other than a tax return due to liability issues.
Does anybody think five years of Schedule C's might do the trick for a reasonable co-op board?
Get a new accountant. My guy wrote a letter and demonstrated past income and current revenue projections.
Speaking as a co-op board VP, I'd say absolutely yes.
You clearly do not have an "employer", so it would be impossible for anyone to write an "employment verification" letter.
I would, however, write my own letter, describing what I do, outlining my industry tenure, and maybe even listing a few of my more prominent clients.
I am self employed, and during my last co-op purchase I asked long-time clients to write a letter stating that they have worked with me for XX years and will continue to do so.
I was going to suggest that, but depending on your line of work, I could see where this could be an awkward request.
Stop being so clever. Grab your letter head and write a quick letter that you are employed by you. It's that easy and takes less time then posting this thread.
OR, make the coop app as difficult as you like.
epgaff, have exactly those letters as business recs. Good suggestion.
NYCMatt, thanks for great feedback, you clearly understand the situation.
I have a question about this also. I have always assumed there is a difference between someone who is a single individual filing a Schedule C as a "self-employed" person vs.a partner or member/manager of a multiple-owner LLC, S-Corp, etc. who received a schedule K-1 or equivalent in lieu of a W-2. Is this a correct assumption? As the latter, I have always assumed I would just have my partner write these sorts of things but perhaps this is the wrong assumption.
Last time I did this, I supplied 5 years of Schedule SE and an accountant letter.
If accountant won't do this, time to get a new accountant.
As someone in a similar situation (self employed though not ready to buy just yet, just collecting information), can I semi-hijack this thread to ask what the minimum number of years of demonstrated SE income would likely be required for board approval? I had always heard 2 years. Would a board be more likely to approve a SE individual who otherwise meets all other financial requirements and who could put down a hefty downpayment (e.g. 75% or more)?
a lot of self employed people are licensed, but I guess that's not you. So stick with your tax returns and the letter.
there are so many factors for the self-employed: do you have a long-term history of this kind of income, what's your projection for the current year (guess low), can you back that up with long-term contracts, do you have assets to back you up in the case of trouble, what do your tax returns look like, what business are you in?
We do cover letters with many of our board packages to directly address these questions.
But to answer quickly, OP, I'm with the other poster that employment letters come from your accountant. How does attesting he's been your accountant for XX years and you've earned XX, XX, and XX on your last years of Schedule Cs expose him to any more liability than filing the original returns themselves did?
otokomae, yes, putting more money down will help your case.
DG Neary Realty
An accountant's letter is a fairly normal requirement that some boards will ask of all applicants and not just self-employed applicants, so I'm surprised your accountant is balking.
If the broker is asking for the letter and NOT the board, you could try writing your own letter accompanying the tax returns. But if the board is asking for it, I'd find some way to get it. I'm a board member in a small, fairly lax building with three out of five self-employed board members, and I don't think we'd budge on this one.
With the caveat that every situation/coop board is different, here's what I provided for my successful board approval (in addition to all the usual financial info):
2 page summary of business activities
3 year business financial summary
copy of my most valuable contract
3 business reference letters (also 3 personal references that were different)
2 years worth of tax returns including Schedule C and SE
1 year of all 1099 forms received in the most recent year, with client name/address/Tax ID redacted
no accountant letter