Verification

Verification Process

What is Verification?

Verification is a process mandated by the Department of Education that requires institutions of higher education to review and ensure the accuracy of information provided on the FAFSA. Students are randomly picked by the U.S. Department of Education. After you have completed your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), our Student Financial Assistance Office may need to ask you for additional documents to verify the data on your FAFSA.

Who typically gets selected?

Students are selected for federal verification for a variety of reasons. Some selections are completely random, while others may be prompted by missing or inconsistent data. Being selected for verification does not necessarily mean anything was done wrong.

How do I know if I am selected for Verification?

If you are selected for verification your Student Aid Report (SAR) will have an asterisk (*) next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Our office will notify you by email if you are selected for verification and we will inform you by email what documents are needed.

What documentation/forms do I need to submit to the Financial Aid Office if selected for Verification?

Depending on which award year you are selected for verification, we will require different verification documents. Our office recommends that you submit all requested documentation before the beginning of the academic year, so you know what your federal award eligibility is. Review Verification Forms for 2018-19 for details on what documents would be needed.

How will I learn of the results of the documents I submitted for Verification?

No federal funds will disburse to your Student Account until our office has received all the required documents to complete verification. Once all verification documents are submitted to our office, you will be notified of the results of Verification by email of your award or revised award.

Will Verification affect my award?

If the information initially provided on the FAFSA is deemed accurate, the award will not change. If corrections need to be made, awards may be adjusted as a result. Please note that no federal aid can be processed until verification is complete.

What is the deadline for submitted Verification documents?

Verification documentation are accepted throughout the academic year. To ensure the award and processing of funds are in a timely manner, our preferred deadline is that all verification documents be submitted at least 30 days prior to the end of the term or academic year for which the student is enrolled.

What documentation/forms do I need to submit to the Financial Aid Office if selected for Verification in 2018-19?

NEW: Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, families are required to report income information from the prior-prior tax year. For example, on the 2017-18 FAFSA, students (spouse and parents, as appropriate) must report their 2015 income information; on the 2018-2019 FAFSA, 2016 income must be reported.

If your FAFSA is selected for federal verification you must submit additional documents to our office: a verification worksheet and 2016 IRS Income Verification (along with 2016 W2’s for non-tax-filers only).

Tax Filer Income Verification Directions

IRS INCOME VERIFICATION – 2016 TAX YEAR:

The most efficient way to verify income is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) within your FAFSA application. If the student/parent has not already used the tool, go to the FAFSA website, log in to the student’s FAFSA record, select “Make FAFSA Corrections,” and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form. From there, follow the instructions to determine if the student/parent is eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer 2016 IRS income tax information into the student’s FAFSA. Once the IRS data transfer is complete, electronically SIGN and SUBMIT your FAFSA.

If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, all tax filers must submit a: 2016 IRS Tax Return Transcript.

For families with special circumstances, such as filing tax extensions (Form 4868), victims of identity theft, amended tax return filers (1040X), please see the section below on special circumstances.

You can send us a copy of your 2016 Tax Return Transcript by using one of the following:

  • Online Request: Follow this link and click “Get Transcript by Online” or “Get Transcript by Mail.”
    • Be sure to request the Tax Return Transcript, NOT the Tax Account Transcript.
  • IRS2Go App: Download the app to request a transcript of IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter:
  • Telephone Request: Call 1-800-908-9946 to request a 2016 IRS Tax Return Transcript.
  • Paper Request Form: IRS Form 4506T-EZ or IRS Form 4506-T

Special Circumstances Directions

IRS INCOME VERIFICATION – 2016 TAX YEAR:

Tax Extension

  • Form 4868 that was filed with the IRS – (signed)
  • For an individual who was called up for active duty or for qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, in lieu of Form 4868, we can accept a statement from you certifying that you did not file an income tax return or a request for a filing extension because of that service.
  • Copy of the IRS approval of the extension beyond the 6-month extension.
  • W-2 Form(s) in 2016 or, if self-employed, a signed statement certifying the 2016 AGI and tax paid.
  • Verification of Non-filing Letter (confirmation that the tax return has not yet been filed) from the IRS or other relevant tax authority dated on or after October 1, 2017. See directions under Non-Tax Filer.
    • IRS VERIFICATION OF NON-FILING LETTER – 2016 TAX YEAR:
      • Online Request: Follow this link and click “Get Transcript by Online” or “Get Transcript by Mail.” Be sure to request the “Verification of Non-filing Letter” for Tax Year 2016.
      • IRS2Go App: Download the app to request a transcript of IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter:
      • Telephone Request – Call 1-800-908-9946 to request an IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter and then enter “2016”.
      • Paper Request Form – IRS Form 4506T-EZ or IRS Form 4506-T

Identity Theft

  • Tax Return Database View (TRDBV) Transcript (2016)- obtained from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-4490.
  • Statement signed and dated by the tax filer indicating that they were victims of IRS Tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made of aware of the tax-related identity theft.

Amended Returns

  • IRS Form 1040X (signed) from 2016, AND
  • Pull your 2016 tax data into your FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
    OR
    IRS Tax Return Transcript from 2016 that includes information from the original
    OR
    Any other IRS Transcript that includes all income and tax information from the original tax return

Foreign Tax Returns/Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or U.S. Virgin Islands Tax Returns

  • Transcript from relevant taxing authority listing tax account information for the tax year, if transcript can be obtained at no cost. Otherwise, a copy of tax return filed with taxing authority.

Non-Tax Filer Directions: New Requirement for Non-Tax Filers in 2018-19

  • Submit copies of all 2016 W2s or equivalent
  • Submit IRS Verification of Non-Filing for 2016 (include student’s St. Vincent’s College ID number)

IRS Verification for non-tax filers can be obtained by requesting an IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter from the IRS. This letter provides proof that the IRS has no record of a filed Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ for the 2016 tax year. The IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter is a requirement for all independent students and their spouses (if applicable) as indicated on the FAFSA, along with Parents of Dependent Students. Please also submit copies of your 2016 W2s if you did not and were not required to file a tax return in 2016.

IRS VERIFICATION OF NON-FILING LETTER – 2016 TAX YEAR: requirement for all independent students and their spouses (if applicable) as indicated on the FAFSA, along with Parents of Dependent Students.

  • Online Request – Follow this link and click “Get Transcript by Online” or “Get Transcript by Mail.” Be sure to request the “Verification of Non-filing Letter” for Tax Year 2015.
  • IRS2Go App – download the app to request a transcript of IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter:
  • Telephone Request – Call 1-800-908-9946 to request an IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter and then enter “2016”.
  • Paper Request Form – IRS Form 4506T-EZ or IRS Form 4506-T

Individuals who submit W-2s that total a gross income that equals or exceeds the IRS tax filing threshold must file an income tax return before the student is eligible to receive Title IV aid. These individuals may have to then request a Social Security Number, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or an Employer Identification Number.

2018 – 2019 Verification Documents

If selected for verification, please submit the form that applies to you. If you are unsure, please ask the Office of Student Financial Assistance for guidance.

V1 – Verification Worksheet 2018-19
V4 -Verification Worksheet 2018-19
V5 – Verification Worksheet 2018-19
Verification of Assets 2018-19
Income Verification 2018-19