Verification is a mandate from the United States Department of Education. Based on information you provide on your FAFSA, you may be selected for verification. If you are selected, Student Financial Services will request additional documents from you. We will not be able to complete your financial aid award until all To Do List items have been completed.
There are two options to complete this requirement: obtaining an IRS Tax Return Transcript or using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Please read the details of each option below and select the method that best fits your circumstances.
Option 1: IRS Tax Return Transcript
In some cases, you may be required to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript. If you receive such a request from our office, there are three ways you can request this document from the IRS. Most of these methods do not require the payment of a fee.
- Online - Go to www.irs.gov. Users can obtain a .pdf form of their tax return transcript. This can be sent as an attachment to us at email@example.com. Alternately, if you wish for a printed copy, a paper transcript will be mailed to the requestor within 5 to 10 days. Please submit it to our office by mail or fax.
- Telephone - Call (800) 908-9946. A paper transcript will be mailed to the requestor within 5 to 10 days. Please submit it to our office by mail or fax.
- IRS Form 4506T-EZ - A paper transcript will be mailed to the requestor within 5 to 10 days. Please submit it to our office by mail or fax.
Option 2: IRS Data Retrieval Tool
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Instead of requesting this document from the IRS, you can take matters more directly into your own hands by using the IRS' Data Retrieval Tool. Click here for a nifty tutorial on how to use the Data Retrieval Tool. Please note that entering students should not use the Data Retrieval Tool if they have already received their preliminary financial aid award.
Other Requests for Additional Documentation
In addition to federal verification, you may be asked by Student Financial Services to provide additional documentation to help us determine your eligibility for state and institutional need-based funds. In such cases, To Do List items are placed in your SIS Student Center, and an email message is sent to you, alerting you to the new To Do List item. As is the case with federal verification, we will not be able to complete your financial aid award until all To Do List items have been completed.
If you make changes to your FAFSA after your financial aid award is complete, you may still be selected for verification. In these cases, items will be added to your To Do List in SIS and will require that you complete them. Most commonly, this will happen during the Fall term, but failure to complete the To Do List items will result in your Spring term aid not disbursing.
Student Financial Services conducts internal audits of financial aid awards throughout the academic year. These audits could result in a student being asked for additional documents and changes to a student's financial aid award. In the rare cases when there are changes, they are usually relatively small.
Verification for Individuals with Unusual Circumstances
Individuals Granted a Filing Extension by the IRS
If an individual is required to file a 2014 IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS, provide the following documents:
- A copy of the IRS Form 4868, ‘‘Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,’’ that was filed with the IRS for tax year 2014; and
- A copy of IRS Form W–2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2014 and, if self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the individual’s AGI and the U.S. income tax paid for tax year 2014.
Individuals Who Filed an Amended IRS Income Tax Return
If an individual filed an amended IRS income tax return for tax year 2014, provide both of the following:
- A signed copy of the original 2014 IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS or a 2014 IRS Tax Return Transcript (signature not required) for the 2014 tax year; and
- A signed copy of the 2014 IRS Form 1040X, “Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” that was filed with the IRS.
Individuals Who Were Victims of IRS Identity Theft
A victim of IRS identity theft who has been unable to obtain a 2014 IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS DRT must provide a signed copy of the 2014 paper IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS and a signed copy of IRS Form 14039 “Identity Theft Affidavit” if one was submitted to the IRS. If the individual did not keep a copy of Form 14039 or the IRS did not require him or her to submit one, he or she may provide one of the following:
- A statement signed and dated by the individual indicating that he or she was a victim of IRS identity theft and that the IRS is investigating the matter. The statement must also indicate that the individual submitted a Form 14039 to the IRS, but did not keep a copy of it or that he or she was not required to file the form; or
- A copy of a police report if it was filed related to the IRS identify theft.
Individuals Who Filed Non-IRS Income Tax Returns
If an individual filed or will file a 2014 income tax return with Puerto Rico, another U.S. territory (e.g., Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas Islands), or with a foreign country, provide a signed copy of that 2014 income tax return(s).