Verification is a process in which information on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is reviewed for accuracy and helps the College to accurately and fairly determine the types and amounts of financial aid that a student is eligible to receive.
If an applicant is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, or by Charter Oak, additional documentation will be required to validate data reported on the FAFSA which includes income tax information. Please note that the Office of Financial Aid has the legal authority to request additional information and documentation to authenticate information reported on the FAFSA.
Students and parents are asked not to submit tax information or other documentation unless notified by either Inceptia or the Office of Financial Aid to do so.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) for Tax Filers:
The IRS DRT is available for students to use with their FAFSA applications. Additional security and privacy protections have been added to address identity theft concerns. Due to these concerns, tax information transferred from the IRS onto the FAFSA application will not be visible to applicants. Students will see "Transferred from the IRS" in the appropriate fields as shown below:
Tax Return Transcript Ordering Information:
Students who do not want their financial aid delayed are encouraged to use the IRS DRT to transfer their tax data onto their FAFSA application. Students who cannot use the IRS DRT, or choose not to use the IRS DRT, will be responsible for providing their full name and student id on all transcripts (student/spouse/parent) submitted to the Office of Financial Aid.
Amended Tax Return Information:
Applicants who change IRS data (by filing an amended tax return) must provide the following tax information to the Office of Financial Aid:
A signed copy of Form 1040X* for the applicable 2020 (FAFSA Cycle 22-23) or 2021 (FAFSA Cycle 23-24) tax year. Please note that amending a tax return is a two part process. The first step is to prepare a new tax return using Form 1040. The next step is to report the amended tax information on Form 1040 to the appropriate line item on Form 1040X. The Office of Financial Aid will request a copy of both the 1040X and corrected Form 1040 along with applicable tax schedules.
Amended tax filers who did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, with all the information from the original tax return, must also provide one the of the following:
A signed copy of the original IRS tax and all applicable tax schedules return filed for the 2020 tax return (FAFSA Cycle 22-23) or 2021 tax return (FAFSA Cycle 23-24), or
An IRS tax return transcript for the applicable 2020 or 2021 tax year.
* Please note that the Office of Financial Aid may require a student to submit an IRS Record of Account to validate information on Form 1040X.
Tax Filing Extensions:
Applicants who have been granted a tax filing extension beyond the automatic six-month extension, must provide the following tax information to the Office of Financial Aid:
A copy of IRS Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return," that was filed with the IRS for the applicable 2020 (22-23 FAFSA Cycle) or 2021 (23-24 FAFSA Cycle) tax year; and
- A copy of the IRS's additional extension of filing time beyond the automatic six-month extension for the applicable 2020 or 2021 tax year, and
- Confirmation of non-filing from the IRS for the applicable tax year. The 2020 non-filer must be dated on or after October 1, 2021 and the 2021 non-filer must be dated on or after October 1, 2022, and
- A copy of IRS Form W–2 for each source of employment income received for the applicable 2020 or 2021 tax year; and
- If self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the individual’s Adjusted Gross Income AGI) and the U.S. income tax paid for tax year 2020 or 2021.
* Please note that it is the policy of Charter Oak to require those with a filing extension to submit a tax transcript for the applicable tax year after it has been filed, or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool so that tax information can be offically verified by the Office of Financial Aid. As a result, this may change the dollar amounts of grants and/or loan amounts that were originally offered.
Applicants who are non-tax filers must provide the following information to the Office of Financial Aid:
Copies of applicable 2020 (22-23 FAFSA Cycle) or 2021 (FAFSA Cycle 23-24) IRS W-2 Forms for each source of income from work; and
IRS verification on Non-Filing. Form must be dated on or after October 1, 2021 for tax year 2020 and form must be dated on or after October 1, 2022 for tax year 2021.
*Additional documentation may also be requested by the Office of Financial Aid to verify all sources of untaxed income and benefits such as: child support received, worker's compensation, disability, and money paid or received on a parent's or student's behalf.
W-2 Forms Not Available:
Individuals can request replacement W-2's from their employer(s). Alternatively, a Wage and Income Transcript can be requested from the IRS free of charge.
Immigrants and IRS Tax Filing Information:
Immigrants are not exempt from tax filing. Immigrants who do not have a social security number (SSN) and are unable to get one can apply with the IRS for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). The ITIN is for tax purposes only and cannot be used as an identifier in place of the SSN on the FAFSA form.
Victims of Identity Theft:
Victims of tax related identity theft who are unable to get a tax return transcript are required to submit a Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV) transcript from the IRS. Students who are victims of IRS identity theft can contact the IRS's Identity Protection Specialized Unit by calling (800) 908-4490. After the unit authenticates the tax filers identity, the student can request the TRDBV transcript.
If a student is unuable to obtain the TRDBV, an equivalent tax document provided by the IRS or a signed 2020 (22-23 FAFSA Cycle) or 2021 (23-24 FAFSA Cycle) copy of the IRS income tax return and applicable schedules that was filed with the IRS.
Additionally, students must provide to the Office of Financial Aid a signed and dated statement indicating that they were a victim of tax related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of it.
Additional Requests for Information:
Additional documentation may be requested by the Office of Financial Aid for verification of untaxed income and benefits (even if income is excluded from the FAFSA). This may include, but is not limited to, collection of W-2 forms, child support payments received, payments made to tax-deferred pension and savings plans, and receipt of benefits from social services programs.
The Office of Financial Aid is responsible for resolving information that it believes to be discrepant or inaccurate and may request supporting documentation to clear data conflicts. Students or their parents may be asked to verifying marital status by providing copies of separation agreements or divorce decrees. If confirmation of state of legal residency is required, students may be asked to provide an unexpired driver's license or unexpired state issued ID card. Student's may also be asked to provide high school completion status and bachelor's degree completion. If warranted, the Office of Financial aid may ask a student to submit missing college and/or university transcripts not previously received by the College
*If conflicting information is discovered after disbursing aid, Charter Oak is required to reconcile the differences and recalculate the student's EFC. If there is an over award, the student will be required to repay any excess funds. If a student is no longer enrolled, they will owe a Title IV overpayment to the U.S. Department of Education. In these cases, Charter Oak will notify the U.S. Department of Education of the over payment.