Should I estimate my income if I haven't filed taxes yet?

3,334 families filed bankruptcy using Upsolve.

Written by Jonathan Petts, Esq.  
Updated May 16, 2019

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If you do not have official documents, it is OK to estimate your gross income. If you do not feel comfortable estimating you can:

  1. Look at your most recent pay statement and use it to find your gross (before taxes) income year to date. If you were only paid for part of the year, you can calculate your average monthly income for the year by diving the total amount you have been paid by 12.

  2. Call or contact your employer's HR department or payroll manager and ask for the total gross income for the year. It is fine if you get this information over the phone - you will not need to provide documentation.

If your job doesn't provide you with pay statements, or if you get paid in cash, you still need to state your estimated annual and monthly income on your bankruptcy forms. You can estimate these amounts using your bank statements, app ledgers (for jobs like Lyft, Uber, or MTurk), or from memory.

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Upsolve is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that started in 2016. Our mission is to help low-income families who cannot afford lawyers file bankruptcy for free, using an online web app. Spun out of Harvard Law School, our team includes lawyers, engineers, and judges. We have world-class funders that include the U.S. government, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and leading foundations. It's one of the greatest civil rights injustices of our time that low-income families can’t access their basic rights when they can’t afford to pay for help. Combining direct services and advocacy, we’re fighting this injustice.

To learn more, read why we started Upsolve in 2016, our reviews from past users, and our press coverage from places like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

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