FAFSA Verification Documentation
Please, don't be alarmed if you are notified via email to check your FAFSA eligibility and unsatisfied requirements. You will simply need to provide:
- the appropriate institutional verification form (dependent or independent), which can be found in Student Financial Aid Forms
- federal tax return information for both the student and parents (if dependent)
- W-2s if you were not required to file tax returns
You will be notified if additional documentation is needed for other specific information reported on your FAFSA. For guidance on how to submit documentation to our office, please view the Form and Document Submission Guidelines.
Two Ways to Provide Your Tax Return Information
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) is available for the 2018-19 year but to enhance security and privacy of sensitive data, the data transferred from the IRS will be encrypted. There will not be an option for final review on the IRS DRT web page or on the FAFSA form before or after submission. For your protection, the answer to each question is replaced with "Transferred from the IRS."
Submitting Your Information Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
If you are able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool provided through the FAFSA, your tax return information will be sent to us electronically within 7-10 days of your signing and submitting your FAFSA to us.*
You or your parents will not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if any of the following apply:
you (or your parent) filed as head of household
you (or your parent) filed as married filing separately
you (or your parent) filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return.
*Tax information filed electronically within the last two weeks or submitted by mail within the last eight weeks may not be available through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
Tax Return Transcript from the IRS
If you are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool provided through the FAFSA, you must order a Tax Return Transcript directly from the IRS and submit it to our office. There are several options for ordering a Tax Return Transcript; most are offered through the IRS website.
Once you are on the IRS website, you can find information about ordering a Tax Return Transcript by clicking on "Get Transcript Online" under the Tools section on the homepage. Be sure to order a Tax Return Transcript (not a Tax Account Transcript) for the necessary documentation.
If you have ordered a federal Tax Return Transcript and are experiencing difficulties receiving it in a timely manner, you may want to locate an IRS office near you, and visit the office in person to request the transcript.
Submitting Your Tax Return Transcript
Once you have received your Tax Return Transcript, it should be submitted to our office. To ensure your Tax Return Transcript is submitted correctly, please review the Form and Document Submission Guidelines.
Important Note: Starting in January 2019, IRS tax transcripts can no longer be sent directly to our office from the IRS by mail or by fax. Please visit IRS.gov for alternative options.
Amended Tax Returns
If you filed an amended tax return, we will need a signed copy of your original federal tax return (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) and your amended federal tax return (1040X).
If you have filed an extension for your tax return, you must submit two forms to our office: IRS Form 4868 and the Completion of Verification Based Upon 2016 Federal Tax Return Filing Extension Form.
Documentation Deadline and Participation
Our office begins awarding aid on our priority deadline of April 1. To prevent missing out on any limited funding sources, verification must be complete and your requirements on Self-Service Carolina satisfied. Even after April 1, be sure to satisfy your requirements as soon as possible. If selected, the verification process is required to be completed before you may be awarded federal financial aid.
If verification becomes necessary after you are initially awarded, your previously awarded aid may be placed on hold until your file once again becomes complete.