tax verification instructions

What is Tax Verification?

The law says that before awarding Federal Student Aid, we may ask you to confirm the information you and your parents (if applicable) reported on your FAFSA. To verify that you provided correct information the financial aid office will compare your FAFSA with your federal tax return and the information you provide on a verification worksheet. If there are differences, your FAFSA information may need to be corrected.

Dependent or Independent Verification Worksheet

If you were selected for tax verification, you are required to complete a verification worksheet. Please select the worksheet below that applies to you based on your dependency status.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)

The US Department of Education has enhanced the FAFSA filing process to allow students and parents to retrieve tax data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to upload filed 2013 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 2014-2015 FAFSA. For a step-by-step guide to using the DRT, please go to the Online DRT guide.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available on the FAFSA.gov website.

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

  • Filed your 2013 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 you:

  • Your marital status changed after December 31, 2013.
  • 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.

Other Options

Obtain a Tax Return 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, the US Department of Education requires our office to collect a certified Tax Return 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.

Tax Return Transcripts may be requested online or by mail. Please make sure you request a Tax Return Transcript. Do not request a "Tax Account Transcript" or "Record of Account," as they cannot be used for financial aid verification purposes.

  • To obtain a tax return transcript online please follow the steps in our Tax Return Transcript guide.

  • To obtain a tax return transcript by mail please complete Form 4506-T (which can be obtained online), and mail or fax the completed IRS Form to the appropriate address (or fax number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506-T. Your transcript(s) should be mailed to you within 5 to 10 days from the IRS.