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 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 the FAFSA.
- Income reported is insufficient to support the household size.
- Federal programs such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, 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 differs from the information reported on the student's FAFSA, financial aid could be increased, decreased or canceled altogether.
Requirements For Verification For The 2017-2018 Academic Year
Schools are required to verify:
- Number of household members
- Number enrolled in college (excluding parents, number of household members attending a postsecondary educational institution at least half time)
- Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or income earned from work if income is below minimum required for income tax filing.
- U.S. income tax paid for the base year
- Certain untaxed income and benefits, such as:
- Untaxed IRA distributions
- Untaxed pension distributions
- Education credits
- IRA deductions
- Tax exempt interest
- Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose in person or certified by notary public*
- High School Completion Status* (* in some cases)
Most of these items are verified using your 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. Financial aid cannot be finalized until all requested documentation is supplied.
Dependent students are required to submit:
- Federal Verification Worksheet
- Student's 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript or all 2015 W2’s if Nontax Filer
- Parent’s 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript or all 2015 W2’s and Confirmation of Nonfiling
Independent students are required to submit:
- 2017-2018 Federal Verification Worksheet
- Student's IRS 2015 Tax Return Transcript or all 2015 W2’s if Nontax Filer
- Spouse’s IRS 2015 Tax Return Transcript, if filed separately or all 2015 W2’s if Nontax Filer
- Nontax Filers must provide Confirmation of Nonfiling
Amended Tax Returns
If you have amended your tax return, you must submit a copy of the original IRS Tax Return Transcript and a signed IRS Form 1040X (which will provide the updated information). In addition you must submit one of the following; IRS Form 1040X stamped by the IRS, a copy of your IRS Tax Account Transcript with adjustments or a screenshot of WMAR (Where’s My Amended Return?) showing the status of your amended return.
Victims of Identity Theft
For a 2015 federal tax filer who is a victim of IRS-related identity theft you must contact the IRS’s Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) at 1-800-908-4490 to obtain a copy of your 2015 Tax Return Data Base View (TRDBV) transcript. You must submit a copy of your TRDBV and a statement signed and dated by you, the tax filer, indicating that you are a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft. This statement option is provided on the verification worksheet.
Federal Tax Return Extensions
For 2015 federal tax filers who file an extension of their 2015 Federal IRS Tax Returns, we must receive the following:
- 2015 IRS 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File form", filed with the IRS
- All 2015 W-2’s or an 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 tax year 2015
- An IRS approval of an extension beyond the automatic 6-month extension letter
- Confirmation of Nonfiling, which can be obtained from the IRS by completing IRS Form 4506–T and checking box 7
Obtaining Your IRS Tax Return Transcript
IRS Data Retrieval (DRT) Preferred method – Currently this feature is disabled until the next FAFSA cycle which is October 1, 2017.
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 Student Aid (FSA) ID
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 an amended tax return
- You filed a foreign tax return
- You filed your taxes within the last 8 weeks
To update your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), the following steps should be used:
- Log into the FAFSA website
- Click on Start Here
- Click on Make Corrections
- Click on Financial Information Tab to bring you to the Parent/Student Tax Information
- Select Already Completed (allow 2-3 weeks from electronic filing date before using IRS Data Retrieval). Read through the list of statements and check "Yes" or "No". If all of the statements are correctly answered "No" then you will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
- Enter your FSA ID and click on Link to IRS. Fill in the information as instructed. You MUST fill in your address exactly how it appears on your Tax Return Form. Click Submit and if done correctly the IRS data will appear
- Click on the option Transfer Now. Do not make changes to IRS data
- Review the Income Wages Earned from W2s, Business Income or Farm Income
- Sign with student Pin number (if dependent, parent pin is also required) and submit your FAFSA to update information
Obtaining an IRS Tax Return Transcript
There are three ways to request an IRS tax return transcript: online, by telephone, and by paper.
Please visit the following for video tutorials in English and Spanish:
Available at IRS Get Transcript. Select either “Get Transcript Online” or “Get Transcript by Mail”. Both options provide the same results, but the online option is immediate.
Instructions for obtaining tax transcripts online
- 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 Social Security Number, 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
Instructions for obtaining transcript by mail:
- Select blue box “Get Transcript by Mail”
- Add Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Street Address, Zip Code; then click continue
- Select “Return Transcript” and select the requested filing year. The requested filing year is 2015 for the 2016-2017 FAFSA and 2017-2018 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, deliver 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, deliver the Tax Return Transcript to the Financial Aid Office
Paper Request Form – IRS Form 4506T-EZ
- IRS Form 4506T to request an IRS Tax Return 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 Tax Return 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 provides tax filers with the option to have their IRS Tax Return Transcript mailed directly to a third party by the IRS. Please be aware that it may be difficult for the Financial Aid Office to match a parent’s incoming IRS Tax Return Transcript to the aid applicant, as the two names may be different
- On line 6, enter the tax form and check box “a” for Return Transcript
- Line 9 will indicate which tax year you are requesting
- 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 to the appropriate address (or FAX number) provided 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 Tax Return Transcript to the Financial Aid office
Visit a Local IRS 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
- 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. Representatives can help resolve a tax issue or schedule an appointment at a local IRS TAC office to get assistance.
Unable to obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript
In response to the temporary suspension of the Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) and possible difficulties in obtaining an IRS Tax Transcripts, we may consider accepting a signed paper copy of the 2015 IRS tax return (IRS 1040, IRS 1040A, IRS 1040EZ) that was used by the tax filer for submission to the IRS as acceptable documentation to verify FAFSA tax return information.
The student/parent must sign the paper 1040 IRS tax return or if completed by a tax preparer it must include the tax preparer's information (EIN number). If these forms were completed online through tax software you would not have signed the document so please ensure you sign it before sending the copies.