Important FAFSA Changes (effective 2012-2013)
When a student completes a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the FAFSA may get selected for verification, which means the Office of Student Financial Aid must “verify” that the information provided on the FAFSA matches the student (and spouse, if applicable) and/or parents’ actual data on tax returns and other documents.
To help reduce the likelihood that your FAFSA is selected for verification, we encourage all students and parents to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to answer the income information question on the FAFSA. The IRS data retrieval process will display your tax information from the IRS and allow you to import it into your FAFSA. This process will prompt you and/or your parent to enter your PIN and link to the IRS web site.
Please consider the following when completing the IRS data retrieval:
The parent who is signing the FAFSA and the student are each required to use their PIN# used to sign the FAFSA to retrieve their own IRS data
The address on the FAFSA needs to match the address on the submitted tax return for the IRS data retrieval tool to be successful
Federal tax returns must be filed at least two weeks (if filing electronically) and 6-8 weeks (if filing paper return) to participate in the IRS data retrieval process
You and/or your parents’ must have a valid Social Security Number
The IRS data retrieval process cannot be used if:
A tax return has been filed as “Married Filing Separately”
A tax return status is married and filed as Head of Household
Marital status changed after December 31st
An amended tax return has been filed
A Puerto Rican or foreign tax return has been filed
You currently owe taxes and have not paid the IRS in full
Please be advised that if your FAFSA is selected for verification and you are not eligible to use the IRS data retrieval tool (or choose not to use the tool), then you will need to request a Tax Transcript from the IRS. In 2012-2013 the law changed and we are no longer able to accept signed copies of federal tax returns from students and parents for FAFSA verification purposes. If you owe taxes and have not paid in full you are not eligible to receive a tax transcript.
Click here for instructions on How to Order your Tax Transcript from the IRS.
You may have filed your FAFSA prior to submitting your taxes using the “Will File” status and estimated your tax information. After the appropriate amount of time after filing your taxes, you are still able to “Make a FAFSA Correction” on your FAFSA to use the IRS data retrieval tool. Login to FAFSA.gov, update your filing status to “Already Completed” and use the IRS data retrieval tool to update your tax information. Click here for a video of easy instructions.
You may also be required to verify the following data (if applicable):
· Documentation of Food Stamp benefits (also known as SNAP) received in previous years.
· If child support was paid, the total amount paid, the name of the person who received the child support and the name of the child(ren) for whom it was paid.