What is verification?
Verification is a process used to verify certain information on the FAFSA to ensure its accuracy.
The U.S. Department of Education or the Office of Financial Aid may, at any time, select your application for verification based upon the information you have provided. We are required to make sure that all aid is awarded to students according to federal, state, and institutional regulations. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded.
Why was I chosen for verification?
• The submitted FAFSA application has incomplete data.
• The data on the FAFSA application appears to contradict itself.
• The FAFSA application has estimated information on it.
• Random selection
How do I verify my income?
If you have filed your taxes with the IRS, you should log into your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov and make a correction to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your tax information. (see below for information on using the Data Retrieval Tool) If you do not, or cannot, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will be required to obtain a tax transcript from the IRS and submit it to the Financial Aid Office. Personal copies of tax returns can no longer be accepted.
IRS DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL
NOTE: Please allow approximately two weeks from the date you filed your tax return electronically to use the IRS Data Retrieval. If you chose to file a paper return, please allow 6-8 weeks for processing by the IRS.
TO USE THE IRS DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL:
- Log into www.fafsa.gov to correct your FAFSA
- Click on the Financial Information tab at the top of the page
- Click "LINK TO IRS" to transfer your income information to your FAFSA
Filers unable to use this tool:
- Students and parents who did/will not file taxes
- Students and parents who filed an amended tax return
- Those with a tax status of Married, Filing Separately
- Those who filed a foreign tax return
Click here to watch a YouTube video showing how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. (2:49 minutes)
~ Credit goes to the University of California, Santa Barbara for creating and providing this video!
Please make sure you request a Tax Return Transcript. DO NOT request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account unless directed by our office to do so.
Ordering a Tax Transcript by Phone:
- Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040, then select the following prompts:
- Option 2 (Personal Income Taxes)
- Option 1 (Tax History)
- Option 2 (Tax Return Transcript)
- Enter and verify Social Security number (if joint return both SSN’s required)
- Enter and verify number of street address
- Press 2 for Tax Transcript and indicate which year (i.e. 2013)
Ordering a Tax Transcript Online:
- Go to www.irs.gov, then select the following:
- Click “Order a Tax Return or Account Transcript” located in the left-hand column
- Click “Order a Transcript” under Step 3
- Enter your SSN, Date of Birth, Street Address, and Zip Code (Be sure to use the address currently on file with the IRS (generally this will be the address that was listed on the latest tax return filed; however, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have updated the address on file).
- Click Continue
- In the TYPE OF TRANSCRIPT field, select “Return Transcript” and in the TAX YEAR field, select the appropriate year (i.e., 2013)
- Click Continue
If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in their telephone request – with 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS received the request.