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 Self Service Carolina.
- federal tax return information for both the student and parents (if dependent)
- W-2 Forms for student and parents (if dependent)
- Verification of Non-Filing Letter from IRS.gov for independent students and parents of dependent students if not required to file
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.
Three Ways to Provide Your Tax Return Information
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) is available 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.
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.
IRS Tax Transcript Submission
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has recently changed the format of tax transcripts to protect taxpayers from unauthorized use of taxpayer data. The new format redacts all personally identifiable information and some public record information. Because of this, all tax transcripts that are sent to our office must include the student's name and VIP ID on each page of the transcript. Where applicable, the parent or spouse's name should also be written on the tax transcript in addition to the student's name and VIP ID. Without this information, our office cannot identify the owner of the tax transcript or document that we have received the 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: Effective June 28, 2019, the IRS will no longer fax transcripts to tax filers or third-parties. Effective July 1, the IRS will no longer mail tax transcripts to third-parties as requested on Form 4506, Form 4506-T and Form 4506T-EZ. Please visit IRS.gov for alternative options.
Effective January 9, 2019, you may submit a signed copy of your federal tax return with Schedules C and F if applicable. To ensure your federal tax return is submitted correctly, please review the Form and Document Submission Guidelines.
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).
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.