Completing the Verification Process

Verification Requirements

Certain applicants may be selected for verification by the federal processor.  If selected, the College is required to verify certain data elements reported on the FAFSA.  Financial aid applications cannot be finalized until all requested documentation is supplied.  A Verification Form must be completed by students who are selected for the verification process, the form is available on the Financial Aid Office Documents page.

Income Verification

How to Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in FAFSA

We strongly encourage the IRS Data Retrieval process for all students who filed a FAFSA. Certain tax filers may not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval and will need to request an IRS Tax Transcript instead. To successfully use the IRS Data Retrieval option you must:
  • Have a federal tax return filed with the IRS.
  • Have a valid social security number.
  • Have a Federal Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN).
You will be not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval option if:
  • Your marital status changes after December 31 of the same tax year.
  • You filed as "Married Filing Separately".
  • You filed an amended tax return.
  • You filed a foreign tax return.
  • You filed your taxes within the last 8 weeks.
 
To update your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, the following steps should be used:
  1. Log into the FAFSA website at www.FAFSA.ed.gov.
  2. Click on Start Here.
  3. Click on Make Corrections.
  4. Click on Financial Information Tab to bring you to the Parent/Student Tax Information.
  5. Select Already Completed (allow 2-3 weeks from electronic filing date before using IRS Data Retrieval). Read through the list of statements and check "Yes" or "No". If all of the statements are correctly answered "No" then you will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  6. Enter your Pin and click on Link To IRS. Fill in the information as instructed. You MUST fill in your address exactly how it appears on your Tax Return Form. Click Submit and if done correctly the IRS data will appear.
  7. Click on the option Transfer Now. Do not make changes to IRS data.
  8. Review the Income Wages Earned from W2s, Business Income or Farm Income.
  9. Sign with student Pin number (if dependent, parent pin is also required) and submit your FAFSA to update information.
 
Obtain a Tax Transcript from the IRS

If you and/or your parents are not eligible or choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when updating your FAFSA and are selected for verification, the US Department of Education requires our office to collect a certified tax transcript processed by the IRS. If you and/or your parents are not eligible or choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when updating your FAFSA, the US Department of Education requires our office to collect a certified tax transcript processed by the IRS. Please note that parents who are married but filing separately must submit 2 separate IRS transcripts. Transcripts are not required for those filing a foreign or Puerto Rican tax return. Transcripts may be requested by phone, online, by mail, or in person at the IRS Office in Fitchburg or Worcester. Please make sure you request a Tax Transcript. Do not request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account because they cannot be used for financial aid verification purposes. Please be advised that our office cannot verify your financial aid award without a tax transcript. To obtain a tax return transcript online please follow these steps:

Online Request

  • Visit www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript.
  • Select either the Get Transcript ONLINE button or the Get Transcript by MAIL button. Both options provide the same results, but the ONLINE option is immediate.
  • Get Transcript ONLINE Instructions
    • Click the CREATE AN ACCOUNT button and complete the requested steps. If you already have an account, simply Sign In with your credentials instead.
    • On the Request Transcript page, select the "Higher Education/Student Aid" option and click on the Return Transcript for the tax year requested.
    • Print the Tax Return Transcript and deliver it to the Student Financial Aid office.
  • Get Transcript by MAIL Instructions
    • Enter the requested information and click Continue.
    • Select "Return Transcript" for the Type of Transcript, select the tax year requested for Tax Year, and click Continue.
    • If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address on file with the IRS within 5 to 10 business days. IRS Tax Return Transcripts cannot be sent to an address other than the one on file with the IRS.
    • Once received, deliver the Tax Return Transcript to the Student Financial Aid office.

Telephone Request

  • Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.
  • Tax filers must follow prompts to enter the primary tax filer's social security number and the numbers in their street address. Generally, this will be numbers of the street address that were listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed either through the IRS or the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file. For a joint tax return, use the primary tax filer's social security number, date of birth, street address, and zip or postal code.
  • Select "Option 2" to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript and then enter the tax year requested.
  • If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address on file with the IRS within 5 to 10 business days. IRS Tax Return Transcripts cannot be sent to an address other than the one on file with the IRS.
  • Once received, deliver the Tax Return Transcript to the Student Financial Aid office.
Financial Aid 978-630-9169