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

IRS Data Retrieval Tool: The US Department of Education has recently enhanced the FAFSA filing process to allow you and your parents to retrieve tax data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Beginning February 1, 2013, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will allow you and your parents to upload your filed 2012 federal tax return data directly to your FAFSA. We strongly encourage you to use this tool during the initial filing or when submitting corrections to your 2013-2014 FAFSA.

Eligibility

You and your parents are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if you:

  • Filed your 2012 federal tax return with the IRS.
  • Have a valid social security number.
  • Have a Federal Student Aid PIN (if you do not have a PIN, you will be given the option to apply for one)

You and your parents are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:

  • Your marital status changed after December 31, 2012.
  • You filed married filing separately.
  • You filed an amended return.
  • You filed a foreign tax return.
  • You filed a tax return using a Tax ID Number (TIN).
  • The home address on the FAFSA does not match the address on the tax return.

According to the IRS, this tool cannot be used until 1-2 weeks after electronically filing a tax return and 6-8 weeks after filing paper tax returns.

The Process

Families must actively choose to utilize the data retrieval tool. If they choose to do so, they will be transferred to the Internal Revenue Service web site. There, the FAFSA Central Processing System (CPS) will conduct a data match with the IRS. Applicants will need to authenticate their identity before any information is displayed. Tax data will be presented and the applicant will have the option to “Transfer” the tax information to the FAFSA. Transferred data will have a notation —“Transferred from the IRS”

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:

  • Go to www.irs.gov.
  • Click Order a Tax Return or Account Transcript located under Tools
  • Click Order a Transcript under Step 3.
  • Enter your SSN, Date of Birth, Street Address, and Zip Code.
  • Click Continue.
  • Select Return Transcript for Tax Year (i.e., 2012).
  • Click Continue.

To obtain a tax return transcript by phone please follow these steps:

  • Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 (7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.).
  • Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their Social Security Number and the numbers of their street address. Generally, these will be the numbers of the street address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the U.S. Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
  • Select “Option 2″ to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript, and then enter “2011.”
  • 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 within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.
  • IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested by telephone cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.

To obtain a tax return transcript by mail please follow these steps:

  • Complete Form 4506-TEZ (Request for Transcript of Tax Return).
  • Form 4506-T is available online.
  • Mail or fax the completed IRS Form to the appropriate address (or fax number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506T-EZ.
  • Your transcript(s) will be mailed within 5 to 10 days from the IRS.

Financial Aid
978-630-9169