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?
To get a hard copy of your tax transcript, contact the IRS directly at 1-800- 908-9946 to request a copy of your Federal tax transcript be faxed or mailed to you at no charge. You may also visit the IRS web-site at http://www.irs.gov and submit a request on-line. Note, you can only order a transcript on-line to be mailed to you if you are still at the same address where you filed your return. If you have moved, you will need to contact the IRS by phone or by completing a form 4506-T and submitting it by mail.
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.