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Federal Verification

Federal Verification Updates

  • For the remainder of the current 2022-2023 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) processing and Federal Verification cycle, the Department of Education is waiving Verification requirements for most Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information. However, this waiver does not exempt institutions from reviewing all documents for conflicting information concerning a student’s eligibility. If an institution has conflicting information concerning a student’s eligibility, including documentation obtained during the verification process, the institution must resolve the discrepancies before disbursing Title IV funds.

    Please visit your Pace portal to determine if you must complete this process or if has been waived due to this new guidance.

Federal Verification is a review process in which Pace University, as required by the U.S. Department of Education, must verify the accuracy of the information provided on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Approximately 30% of all FAFSAs are selected for verification, and the reason for selection can vary:

  • You can be chosen at random.
  • Your FAFSA contains estimated information.
  • Your FAFSA was incomplete.
  • There were inconsistencies found in the information you provided on your FAFSA.
  • Income reported is insufficient to support the household size.

Federal programs such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, Federal Work Study, Parent (PLUS) Loan, and the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Program have strict eligibility requirements. University aid may also be affected.

Initial financial aid awards are based on the information we have on file for students before Federal Verification. If the tax and household information differ from the information reported on the student's FAFSA, financial aid could be increased, decreased, or canceled altogether.

To ensure that this process is complete and your financial aid is finalized by the bill due date, documentation must be submitted by April 1st for the Fall semester and December 1st for the Spring semester.

Requirements for Verification for the 2023-2024 Academic Year

Schools are required to verify:

  • Number of household members.
  • Number enrolled in a postsecondary educational institution at least half-time (excluding parents).
  • Parents' and students' income tax information and/or earnings from work.
  • Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose in person or certified by a notary public*
  • High School Completion Status*
    (*in some cases)

Most of these items are verified using IRS tax information. If you and/or your parent (and/or spouse, if applicable) are not required to file a tax return for the year in question, you will indicate this on the Federal Verification Worksheet and list all sources of income received. Parents and Independent Students must also submit an IRS verification of non-filing letter. Financial aid cannot be finalized until all requested documentation has been supplied.

Required Documentation for Verification

2023-2024 Federal Verification Worksheet

This worksheet is provided on your list of Unsatisfied Requirements on the "Home" tab of the Financial Aid Systems section of your Pace portal.

  • Go to Pace Portal.
  • Log in with your Pace Portal username and password.
  • After logging in, click on the “Students” tab.
  • Scroll down the middle column and select the “Financial Aid System” link.
  • On your Home tab you will find general financial aid information and a list of your financial aid requirements.
    • For continuing students: You may switch between aid years using the drop-down in the upper right corner.
  • Click on the 2023-2024 Verification worksheet requirement.
  • Complete and sign the 2023-2024 Verification worksheet.
    Dependents students must have their parents sign their worksheets as well.

2021 Income Information

  • This includes both parents, the student, and the student’s spouse (if applicable).

    • Recommended to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) which transfers your IRS tax information directly into your FAFSA.
    • A 2021 IRS Tax Return Transcript obtain by download at IRS Get Transcript Online or Form 4506-T (PDF).
    • A signed copy of the 2021 Federal Tax Return – including Schedule 1, 2, and/or 3 if applicable.
  • Non-Tax Filers Must Submit Income Earned From Work. This includes both parents, students, and the student’s spouse if applicable.

    • Signed statement of all earnings must be included on the verification worksheet.
    • Submit 2021 W2’s from each employer or a 2021 IRS Wage and Income Transcript.
    • Foreign residents must submit a Wage and Tax Statement or equivalent. Earnings from company letterhead.
    • Submit Verification of Non-Filing

    Verification of Non-Filing is required for both parents, independent students, and their spouses (if applicable).

    • The non-filing letter may be requested and downloaded at IRS Get Transcript Online or by filing IRS Form 4506-T (PDF) (checking box 7).
    • If the parent is unable to obtain a non-filing letter from the IRS because they do not have a social security number they may complete the Pace verification of non-filing letter.
    • A Foreign Resident must submit verification of non-filing from a tax authority or a signed statement that they did not file and they were not required to file a tax return.

    If a parent has been unsuccessful at obtaining verification of non-filing letter from the IRS or other tax authorities, they should send in anything they received from the IRS regarding this request and contact the Financial Aid office.

  • In some cases, the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) will indicate that an Amended Tax Returns was filed and in other cases, you may have indicated that an amended return was filed, therefore we must confirm the income reported is correct by collecting the following documentation:

    • A signed copy of the 2021 Federal Tax Return – including Schedule 1, 2, and/or 3 if applicable or a 2021 IRS Tax Return Transcript or 2021 IRS Record of Account Transcript.
    • A copy of the signed 2021 IRS Form 1040X Amended Return that was submitted to the IRS.

    You may be asked to submit one of the following:

    • A copy of your 2021 IRS Tax Account Transcript with adjustments.
    • A screenshot of WMAR (Where’s My Amended Return?) showing the status of your amended return.
  • Occasionally a tax filer may be granted an extension of time to file their tax return. Typically, filers are only granted an additional 6 months. However, should a tax filer be granted beyond 6 months, we must collect the following:

    • Tax filers must submit a signed statement that a tax filing extension was granted. The status indicated on the Verification worksheet will satisfy this requirement.
    • Submit the automatic 6-month extension from IRS.
    • Submit an unexpired IRS approval of an extension beyond the automatic 6-month extension. This may include an approved IRS Form 2350 or an IRS Record of Account Transcript, which is dated after 10/15/21 and indicates an extension was filed with the IRS.
    • IRS Verification of non-filing letter dated after 10/1/21.

    All 2021 W-2’s from employers or a 2021 IRS Wage & Income transcript, 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 the tax year 2021.

    • Indicated on the Verification worksheet that the tax filer is a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of this.
    • A 2021 Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV) transcript. The victim of IRS-related identity theft must contact the IRS’s Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) at 1 (800) 908-4490 to obtain a copy of their 2021 TRDBV transcript.
    • If the tax filer is unable to obtain the TRDBV, then the school may accept a signed copy of the 2021 Federal Tax Return with applicable Schedules (1,2, and/or 3).

Submitting Your 2021 Income Information

  • This option is recommended by Pace University and provides you with the fastest, easiest and most secure way to verify your tax data.

    Certain tax filers may not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval and will need to request an IRS Tax Return 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 a Federal Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN)

    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 a foreign tax return
    • You filed your taxes within the last 8 weeks
    • Parents are unmarried and living together
    • Conflict between marital and tax filing status (i.e.: Married and filed Head of Household)
    • Neither married parents has a valid Social Security Number (SSN).
    • Both parent entered all zeros for SSN.

    The IRS Data Retrieval Tool transfers your IRS tax information directly into your FAFSA. The IRS DRT can be used by both students and parents. To use the Data Retrieval Tool, complete the following steps:

    1. Log in to your current FAFSA application or start a new application.
    2. In the finances section of the online form, you will see a “Link to IRS” button if you are eligible to use the IRS DRT.
    3. Click the “Link to IRS” button and log in with your FSA ID to be transferred to the IRS to retrieve your info.
    4. Once at the IRS site, enter your information exactly as it appears on your federal income tax return and click the “Submit” button.
    5. Check the “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA form” box, and click the “Transfer Now” button.
    6. You will know that your federal tax return information has been successfully transferred because the words “Transferred from the IRS” will display in place of the IRS information in your FAFSA form.

    For your protection, your tax information will not be displayed on either the IRS site or on your FAFSA.

Obtaining an IRS Transcript or Verification of Non-filing Letter

These IRS transcripts may be requested by using the following methods:

  • By download at IRS Get Transcript Online.
  • By Mail at IRS Get Transcript. Allow 5 to 10 calendar days for delivery
  • By mail or fax using IRS Form 4506-T (PDF), Request for Transcript of Tax Return
  • By calling 800-908-9946. Allow 5 to 10 calendar days for delivery. This method can only be used for requesting IRS Tax Transcripts.
  • By making an appointment at your local IRS office

Please visit the following for video tutorials: Requesting a Tax Transcript for Verification

IRS Get Transcript Instructions

    • Select blue box “Get Transcripts Online”
    • Create an Account as a First Time User or Sign in as a Returning User and complete the requested steps
    • To create your account you will need the following:
      • your SSN, date of birth, filing status and mailing address from latest tax return
      • access to your email account
      • your personal account number from a credit card, mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit or car loan, and
      • a mobile phone with your name on the account
    • If successfully validated, tax filers should have immediate access to view, download, and print transcripts
    • Select blue box “Get Transcript by Mail”.
    • Add Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Street Address, and Zip Code; then click continue.
    • Select “Return Transcript” and select the requested filing year. The requested filing year is 2021 for the 2023-2024 FAFSA.
    • IRS Tax Return Transcripts cannot be sent to an address other than the one on file with the IRS.
    • If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return. Transcript at the address included in their online request within 10 to 15 days from the time the on-line request was successfully transmitted to the IRS.
    • Once received, submit to the Financial Aid office.
    • The IRS Form 4506-T (PDF) may be used to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript, an IRS Verification of Non-filing letter, or an IRS Wage and Income transcript.
    • Complete lines 1 – 4. Note that line 3 should be the most current address as filed with the IRS. It is the address where the IRS Transcript will be sent. If the address has recently changed, include the address listed on the latest tax return filed on Line 4. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
    • Line 5 should be completed. Include your Pace UID number on this line. Include numbers only. Do not enter your social security number as this request will get rejected.
    • On line 6, enter the tax form and check box “a” for a Tax Return Transcript or “c” for a Record of Account.
    • Select line 7 for a Verification of Non-filing letter.
    • Select line 8 for a Wage & Income transcript (may substitute for W-2’s)
    • Line 9 will indicate which tax year you are requesting (i.e.: 12/31/2021)
    • The tax filers (or spouse if requesting information from a joint tax return) must sign and date the form and enter their telephone number. Only one signature is required to request a transcript for a joint return.
    • Mail or fax the completed IRS Form 4506T. Contact information according to the state is on page 2 of Form 4506T.
    • Tax filers can expect to receive their transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes their signed request. Once received, deliver the Transcript to the Financial Aid office.
    • Available from the IRS by calling 1 (800) 908-9946.
    • Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their social security number and the numbers in their street address.
    • Generally, this will be numbers of the street address that was listed on the latest tax return filed.
    • However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
    • 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 that was used in their telephone request, within 5 to 10 days.
    • IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested by telephone cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.
    • Once received, submit the Tax Return Transcript to the Financial Aid Office.
    • If online and telephone requests are not available because of address changes or other errors, please visit a local IRS office to address the problem
    • Locate an IRS office and make an appointment.
    • Bring a form of photo identification
    • Request a Tax Return Transcript. Please note that some offices may not have the ability to print the Tax Return Transcript

    For taxpayers who still need to interact with the IRS in person: Call special toll-free number, 1 (844) 545-5640, to reach an IRS representative.