The state agency selected Unit A as part of the 20% sample and reviewed the new tenant’s income certification. Because the effective date of this certification was after the date of the notification of the upcoming review, the state agency requested the file for the previous tenant and determined that Unit A was out of compliance from January 15 to April 13, 2004.
Example 4: Tenant Income Increases After Move In
John and Mary are newly married, in their early 20’s, and have moved to a new city where John has accepted a job. The couple is income-qualified based on John’s anticipated salary for the next 12 months. Three weeks after they move in, Mary starts working. If her wages are added to the tenant income certification, the couple’s income exceeds the limit.
There is no noncompliance if the state agency determines that the owner used due diligence in accepting John and Mary as a qualified low-income household based on their initial tenant income certification. For example, the owner can demonstrate that due diligence was exercised by asking whether Mary intended to seek employment *or was sporadically employed during the prior year.* However, the next available unit rule may apply. See chapter 14.
By itself, the fact that a tenant’s actual income exceeds the anticipated income identified during the income certification is not a reportable noncompliance event (hindsight is always perfect). However, the state agency should consider expanding the sample size if multiple instances are identified. Collectively, multiple errors are indicative of poor internal control and increased risk of noncompliance.
The tenant income certification should be based on the best information available at the time of the certification. It represents the income the household anticipates it will receive in the 12-month period following the effective date of certification of income. If information is available on changes expected to occur during the year, that information should be used to most accurately determine the anticipated income from all known sources during the year. *If the household reports little or zero income, or sporadic income, owners may use estimates based on actual income earned or received during the twelve month period immediately preceding the certification.* Owners should use due diligence by asking follow-up questions when the income certification process reveals unusual circumstances suggesting additional sources of income.
Out of Compliance
Units are considered out of compliance as of the date an ineligible household moves into a unit. A unit will also be considered out of compliance if the initial tenant income certification is inaccurate, documentation of initial eligibility is insufficient, or no initial tenant file is on record. 47
47 A determination by the IRS (during an examination) that the taxpayer has not maintained adequate books and records may result in the issuance of an Inadequate Records Notice. The notice informs taxpayers that their recordkeeping practices are insufficient and must be improved to meet the requirements of the law. The issuance of an Inadequate Records Notice may result in a follow-up examination.
Revised October 2009