What does it mean to be selected for Verification?
Verification is a process to confirm that the information you or your parents provided on your FAFSA is accurate.
The U.S. Department of Education selects some FAFSAs for verification.
Others are selected by schools to clarify discrepancies in the information provided on the FAFSA.
Documents typically needed to complete verification include a Verification Worksheet, Income Tax Transcript retrieved directly from the IRS, and other forms which verify information in question on your FAFSA.
The Financial Aid Office will advise you on the documentation you will need.
Not all students selected for verification have to submit the same documents.
How are students selected for Verification?
Students are selected at random or by system edits at the U.S. Department of Education, or by the college. If selected for verification, the school will request certain pieces of documentation from the student (and/or parent if applicable), which will be used to verify the information in question on the FAFSA. A quick response to any request for documentation will help expedite the process.
What do I have to do if I have been selected for Verification?
If you have been selected for Verification, the financial aid office will request certain documents from you to verify the information you have entered on your FAFSA is correct. Submitting the requested documents in a timely manner will help to expedite the verification process.
What is a tax return transcript?
A tax return transcript is a line by line accounting of your tax return as it was originally filed with the IRS. Any schedules or additional forms filed will also be included in the tax transcript. The transcript can only be obtained directly from the IRS and is used as verification that your tax information on your FAFSA matches what is on file with the IRS.
What is the difference between a tax transcript and a tax return?
A tax return is the original document (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, etc.) and any schedules and additional supporting forms you or your tax preparer file with the IRS. A tax transcript is a summary of this information and is retrieved from the IRS database once your tax return has been processed in their system.
I have been selected for Verification and need to get a copy of my tax transcript, how do I do that?
There are three different ways in which you can get a copy of your tax transcript from the IRS at no charge:
· Immediate download from the IRS website
· Order a copy be sent to you in the mail
· Have a copy faxed to you
The fastest and easiest way to get your transcript is the first option. Go to www.IRS.gov and click on the “Get Transcript Online” button, and follow the prompts to retrieve and download a copy of your tax transcript. You will be able to save and/or print out your transcript.
From the website, you will also be able to request a copy be mailed to you. Click on the “Get Transcript by Mail” button, and follow the prompts to complete your information and have your tax transcript mailed to you.
You may also contact the IRS directly by phone at 1-800- 908-9946 to request a copy of your Federal tax transcript be faxed or mailed to you. Note, you can only order a transcript to be mailed to you if you are still at the same address where you filed your return.
Will I still get my financial aid if I have been selected for Verification?
In most cases, your financial aid will not disburse until you have completed the verification process. Once the information you have submitted has been verified, and any necessary changes and/or adjustments have been made, you will clear the verification process. Sometimes the necessary changes made will adjust your financial aid award. If this is the case, you will be notified of the change, and disbursements will be made accordingly.
If I do not use the IRS Data Retrieval tool will I be selected for Verification?
You may be selected for Verification if you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval tool. If you have filed your Federal tax return and choose not to use this tool, or enter different tax information on the FAFSA than what is recorded with the IRS, you will be required to explain to the school why your information is more accurate than what has been reported to the IRS. You may also be required to obtain a copy of your Federal tax transcript directly from the IRS to verify the information you reported on your FAFSA.
I was selected for verification and have filed an amended tax return, what documents do I need to provide?
If you have filed or will file an amended tax return, you will have two options for documentation to provide to your school. The first option is a signed copy of both the original tax return you filed with the IRS, as well as the amended return (IRS Form 1040X). The second option is an IRS Tax Return Transcript and a signed copy of the 1040X. While it is not necessary, it is preferred that the IRS Tax Return Transcript be signed as well. If there is any information on the IRS Tax Return Transcript that may have been corrected by the IRS, (noted as “per computer”) and has not been amended on the Form 1040X, this will also need to be corrected if different than what was filed on the FAFSA.
IRS Get Transcript Tutorial
If you need a copy of your Federal Tax transcript, you may be able to download it quickly from the IRS website.
This tutorial will show you how to do that.
Go to www.IRS.gov .
Under the Tools section, click on the “Get Transcript of your tax records” option.
This will take you to the page where you can either get your transcript on-line, or request a copy be mailed to you.
To get your transcript immediately on-line, click the “Get Transcript Online” option.
You will need to create a user account. Click on “Create an account”.
Enter your first name, last name and email.
You will be asked to enter your email again to confirm.
Click on the “Send email confirmation code” button.
A confirmation code will be sent to your email which you will need to retrieve.
Once you have your confirmation code, enter it in the boxes under “enter confirmation code”.
Next click “verify email confirmation code”.
This will take you to step 3 where you will enter your name, email, social security number, birthdate, filing status, and address.
You may also enter your phone number, however this is not required.
You will then be given the option to either continue as a guest user, or create a permanent account.
Creating a permanent account is a more in depth process than continuing as a guest user.
You will be able to get your tax transcript as a guest user and this is the quickest route.
Please note that if you need to return to retrieve a copy of your tax transcript again at a later date and do not create a permanent account, you will need to complete these first three steps again, as well as the next step.
To proceed as a guest, check the box and click continue to move on to step four where you will be asked a series of questions to further verify your identity.
After you have answered these questions, click continue.
You will then be presented with a list of reasons to choose from which best describes why you are requesting your transcript.
Your answer will determine which form is best suited for your needs.
If you are requesting your tax transcript for FAFSA completion, correction, or other school related issues, click on “Higher Education/Student Aid”.
The “Return Transcript” box will be highlighted.
Click on the tax year you need your transcript for.
Your pop up blocker must be turned off.
Your tax return transcript will download in a separate window.
From here, you can save and/or print your tax transcript.