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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.  Verification Forms must be completed by students who are selected for the verification process, the forms are 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 an FSA ID.
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 best way to verify income is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is part of FAFSA on the Web. If you have not already used the tool, go to www.FAFSA.ed.gov, 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 and/or parent are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer IRS income tax information into the FAFSA. If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, be sure to sign and resubmit your FAFSA after transfer has occurred. It takes up to two weeks for IRS income information to be available for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for electronic IRS tax return filers, and up to eight weeks for paper IRS tax return filers. If you need more information about when, or how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
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