What is Verification?
Verification is a process in which information on a student's Free Application for
Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is reviewed by the College for accuracy. If your FAFSA
is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, or by Charter Oak,
you will be required to submit documentation to validate the data reported on your
Please do not submit anything to the Office of Financial Aid unless requested to do
IRS Data Retrieval Tool through FAFSA on the Web
The Office of Financial Aid requires that all applicants complete or correct FAFSA
data using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This process allows users to link to the IRS Web site and securely transfer original
IRS tax information to their FAFSA. IRS income related information includes: adjusted
gross income, U.S. taxes paid, exemptions, and education credits...
In most cases, FAFSA applicants who use the IRS Data Retrieval process to transfer
IRS data to their FAFSA will have met the verification requirements for IRS data specific
items. This means they will not need to provide an IRS Tax Return Transcript to the
Office of Financial Aid as long as IRS data was not subsequently changed (as in the
case of filing an amended tax return).
Certain categories of FAFSA applicants will not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval
Tool. These include applicants who:
- filed a foreign tax return (including a tax return from Puerto Rico)
- filed an amended tax return
- are married and filed as Married Filing Separately
- are married and filed as Head of Household
- recent tax filers (taxes filed electronically within the last two weeks of FAFSA filing
,taxes filed by mail within the last eight weeks of FAFSA filing)
- had a change in marital status after 12-31
Recent Verification Changes:
As a result of recent legislative changes to the student financial aid programs, some
verification requirements have changed for the current award year. Most noteworthy
is that copies of federal tax returns will no longer be accepted by the Office of Financial
Aid to authenticate FAFSA data -exceptunder a number of limited circumstances.
IRS Tax Transcripts
- Students (and parents of dependent students) who are selected for verification are
now required to provide IRS Tax Return Transcripts to the Office of Financial Aid.
- Applicants who change IRS data (by filing an amended tax return) must also provide
signed copies of their original tax return, IRS Form 1040X (along with a new Form
1040) to the Office of Financial Aid.
Tax transcripts (Form 4506-T) are provided free of charge by the IRS and can be ordered online.
Before ordering your transcript, please read the following information:
- Order your transcript early enough to allow for delays at the IRS. The IRS does not
provide "rush" service and orders are processed on a first come, first served basis.
- Make sure the taxpayer name in line 1a is an exact match to the name used on the tax
- For a joint return, make sure spouse's name is listed in line 2a and is an exact match
to the name used on the tax return.
- Social security numbers can be entered in two formats. Either 123-45-6789 or 1213456789.
- Current name and address information must be listed in line 3. If there has been a
name change from what was listed in line 1 or 2, enter it here.
- Complete line 4 only if the address used to file taxes (for the tax year requested)
is different from the current address listed in box 3.
- Enter the tax form number in line 6 (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ...).
- Check box 6a to order your Return Transcript.
- Check box 6c to order a Record of Account (only if requested to do so by the Office
of Financial Aid).
- Check box 7 for verification of Nonfiling status.
- In line 9 enter the year or period requested. For example, 12-31-2013 or 2013.
- Sign and date the form.
Victims of Identity Theft
You will not be able to obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript either online or by phone
if you are a tax filer who has been the victim of identity theft. For purposes of verification in these cases only, the College will accept a signed
copy of the paper IRS income tax return that was filed along with a signed copy of
IRS Form 14039 (Identity Theft Affidavit).
Additional Requests for Information
Certain types of untaxed income (child support, worker's compensation, disability)
are not reflected in IRS data. Therefore, additional documentation may be requested
by the Office of Financial Aid for verification of untaxed income.This may include,
but is not limited to, collection of W-2 forms for non-filers who indicate they have
income from work, child support payments received, and payments made to tax-deferred
pension and savings plans.
Child support payments made in 2013 are subject to verification.
Benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) received in 2012 or 2013 are
subject to verification.
The Office of Financial Aid is also responsible for resolving information that it
believes to be discrepant or inaccurate and may request supporting documentation to
clear data conflicts.
*If conflicting information is discovered after disbursing aid, the College is required
to reconcile the differences and recalculate the student's EFC. If there is an overaward,
the student will be required to repay any excess funds. If a student is not longer
enrolled, they will owe a Title IV overpayment and the College will notify the U.S.
Department of Education of the overpayment.