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Verification

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What do I do if I have been selected for Verification?

If you have been selected for verification, there will be a notification on your Student Aid Report (SAR), which you automatically receive after submitting the FAFSA. You will also receive an email and have additional verification documents listed as “Not Received” under the Financial Aid Eligibility section of your FHSU TigerTracks account.

To complete the verification process, you will need to submit additional documents to the FHSU Financial Assistance Office. You may submit these documents by mail, fax or email.

1. Verification Worksheet – For the 2014-15 award year, there are ten different verification groups, instead of just two (5 for dependent students and 5 for independent students.) Each group requires a different combination of items for our office to verify and consequently, different documentation from the student and family. If selected for verification in 2014-15, be sure to obtain the link to the exact verification form you need. YourTigerTracks account will direct you to the exact verification worksheet you need to submit.

2. Tax Transcripts - most of the new verification groups require tax information to complete verification. The quickest and easiest way to get us your tax information is to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool from the FAFSA. If you cannot use the Data Retrieval Tool, it's best to request (online) a tax transcript from the IRS. Detailed instructions are linked below.

Instructions for Verifying your Tax Information and Obtaining Tax Transcripts Handout

  • Option 1: Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on FAFSA to import your tax information. We recommend using Option 1 if you are eligible. It will allow you to complete this step most quickly. If Option 1 is not offered to you, please use Option 2 or 3.
    • Log into your FAFSA to make a change. Select the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import your tax information. Please note that not everyone is eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you are eligible, this option should be available to you 3 weeks after you electronically filed your tax return or 11 weeks after you filed a paper tax return.
    • It will take 7-10 days for our office to receive this information.

  • Option 2: Request a Free IRS Tax Transcript Online - by PDF download or through mail
    • Visit www.irs.gov. Select “Get Transcript of Your Tax Records”
    • Choose either "online" or "mail"
    • IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested online CANNOT be sent directly to a third party by the IRS. It will be sent to your address filed with the IRS. Once you receive it, submit it to our office.
  • Option 3: Request a Free IRS Tax Transcript by Telephone (Automated).
    • Call the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) customer service at 1-800-908-9946.
    • You should receive your Tax Transcript 5-10 days after your request is processed.
    • IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested by telephone CANNOT be sent directly to a third party by the IRS. It will be sent to your address filed with the IRS. Once you receive it, be sure it is signed and then submit it to our office.
     

3. Additional Documents– if you need to submit additional documents for verification, they will be listed in your email and on TigerTracks account.

FAQs about Verification

Please note the Verification Process may change from year to year.

    General Information about Verification

  1. What is verification?
  2. How will I know if I am selected for verification?
  3. Why have I been selected for verification?
  4. If I am selected for verification, do I have to complete it?
  5. Can I make changes to my FAFSA after I have completed verification?
  6. Why do I have to indicate that I received food stamps in either of the two previous tax years?


  7. Submitting Tax Information

  8. What is a tax transcript, and why do I need one?
  9. How do I order a tax transcript?
  10. Do I need to submit a tax return transcript if I amended my original tax return?
  11. I have a tax return summary. Is that the same as a tax transcript?
  12. Should I submit my state tax return?
  13. I filed for a tax extension. What documents does the financial aid office need?
  14. I will not file taxes. Do I still have to go through the verification process?
  15. My, or my parents’, IRA Distribution was a rollover, but it is showing on my FAFSA. What should I do?


  16. IRS Data Match  

  17. What is an IRS Data Match, and why should I use it when completing the FAFSA?
  18. Why am I unable to choose the IRS Data Match?
  19. I completed the IRS Data Match, but I feel the information on my FAFSA is incorrect. Is there anything I can do?

General Information about Verification

1. What is verification?
The Federal Government randomly selects FAFSAs for verification as they are submitted in order to verify information. It is then the school's responsibility to request copies of tax documents and other information to verify that the data reported on the FAFSA is accurate. Errors must be corrected and sent to the Federal Processor. Eligibility for financial aid can change due to verification.
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2. How will I know if I am selected for verification?
There will be a notification on your Student Aid Report (SAR), which you automatically receive after submitting the FAFSA. You will also have additional verification documents listed as “Not Received” under the Financial Aid Eligibility section of your TigerTracks account.
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3.Why have I been selected for verification?
Students can be randomly selected for verification by the Federal Processor when the FAFSA is originally submitted or anytime changes are made to the FAFSA. Students can be selected for verification after making changes to their FAFSAs, even if aid has already disbursed. The Financial Assistance Office is also required to select students for verification if there is conflicting information on the FAFSA.
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4. If I am selected for verification, do I have to complete it?
Yes. You will not receive financial aid if you do not complete the verification process. If you are selected for verification after your aid has already disbursed, you still must complete verification. If you do not complete verification, any aid you have received must be paid back to FHSU. If you do not complete the verification process promptly, the disbursement of your federal financial aid funds may be delayed.
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5. Can I make changes to my FAFSA after I have completed verification?
The FAFSA application will allow you to make changes after you have completed verification. However, the Financial Assistance Office will not load those changes. We will use the information we determined to be correct upon the completion of your verification.
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6. Why do I have to indicate that I received food stamps in either of the two previous tax years?
The Department of Education has chosen food stamp benefits to be one of several items that must be verified. If you received SNAP or food stamp benefits at any time during the previous two tax years, you must select yes on your Verification Worksheet. You may be required to submit to the financial aid office a copy of an SRS printout from your home state which details the benefits you received.
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Important Information about Your 2014-15 FAFSA

Financial Assistance Office


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Submit your FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov  


Basic FAFSA Info


You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for federal student aid. It is FREE and easy to submit.

Watch the "FAFSA Overview" video from the Department of Education.

How to Fill out the FAFSA

It is easiest to complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.

Learn more about how to fill out the FAFSA.

Watch the "How to Fill Out the FAFSA" video from the Department of Education.  

Dependency Status for FAFSA Purposes

Your dependency status determines whose information you must report on the FAFSA. If you're a dependent student, you will report your and your parents' information. If you're an independent student, you will report your own information (and, if you're married, your spouse's.)

Learn more about dependency status.

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How Aid is Calculated

Your eligibility depends on your Expected Family Contribution, year in school, enrollment status, and cost of attendance.

Learn more about how aid is calculated.

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IRS Data Retrieval

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

The U.S. Department of Education recently created an enhancement to the FAFSA filing process by allowing applicants and parents to import income and tax data directly into the FAFSA form.  This process is called the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

  • Electronically filed tax return information will be available 1-2 weeks after the return has been filed.
  • Data from paper tax returns will be available 6-8 weeks after the return has been filed.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is scheduled to be available online beginning February 3, 2014.


How do I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
  1. Complete and file your 2013 federal tax returns for both the student and parents.*
  2. For optimal filing, submit your taxes electronically
  3. File the FAFSA electronically (www.fafsa.gov) and instead of entering the student and parent tax information manually, click on “LINK TO IRS.”  (Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS website.)
  4. On the IRS website, enter the requested information.
  5. Once the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display. You can either transfer your information from the IRS, or choose to return to FAFSA on the Web from the IRS website. If you do not transfer your information or choose not to return from the IRS website, you will have to login to open your saved FAFSA.
  6. If you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with tax information will be marked with “Transferred from the IRS.”

*If you are not able to file tax return(s) to meet the March 1, 2014, FHSU FAFSA Priority Deadline, submit the 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using estimated tax information. Return to the FAFSA website after filing taxes and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your tax information.


Why should I file 2013 federal income tax returns(s) electronically and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

Filing 2013 federal income tax returns(s) electronically and using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will streamline and expedite the processing of your financial aid by allowing for more accurate information to be submitted on your FAFSA.  This will allow us to provide you with the most accurate financial aid package possible, and it will decrease your chances of being selected to submit additional documents to our office.

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USING TAX TRANSCRIPTS FOR VERIFICATION PROCESS


If you are selected for verification in the process of applying for financial aid and you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing your FAFSA, you will need to provide the FHSU Financial Assistance Office with a federal tax transcript or return to the FAFSA website and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your tax information.  For more information, visit our verification page.

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GRACE PERIOD INTEREST SUBSIDY TEMPORARILY
 ELIMINATED


For all Direct Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2014, the interest subsidy during the 6-month grace period when students are no longer enrolled at least half-time has been temporarily eliminated.

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Submitting Tax Information

7. What is a tax transcript, and why do I need one?
A tax transcript comes directly from the IRS and contains most of the line items from your federal tax return. For 2014-2015, the federal government will only accept official tax transcripts from the IRS to verify financial information on the FAFSA. To avoid having to order a tax transcript, an IRS Data Match should be used when completing the FAFSA. A tax transcript is free and can be ordered by calling 1-800-908-9946 or visiting www.irs.gov. You should receive your transcript in 5-10 business days after the IRS receives and processes your request.
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8. How do I order a tax transcript?
A free tax transcript can be ordered by calling 1-800-908-9946 or visiting www.irs.gov. For detailed instructions, please download this handout. You should receive your transcript in 5-10 business days after the IRS receives and processes your request.
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9. Do I need to submit a tax return transcript if I amended my original tax return?
If you filed an amended tax return (corrections or additions to your original tax return), you will need to provide a copy of your: 1) Federal Form 1040X and 2) Federal Form 1040 or a tax return transcript.
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10. I have a tax return summary. Is that the same as a tax transcript?
No. A tax summary does not include all the information we need in order to verify your information. You will need to submit a tax transcript.
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11. Should I submit my state tax return?
No. The financial aid office is not allowed to keep state tax returns on file. All state tax returns received will be shredded and deleted from your file.
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12. I filed for a tax extension. What documents does the Financial Assistance Office need?
You should mark “I will file, but have not completed my return” on the Independent/Dependent Verification Worksheet. You will also need to submit a copy of your Form 4868 “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” along with all W-2’s received for the specific tax year. If you are self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of your AGI and U.S. income tax paid is required.
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13.I will not file taxes. Do I still have to go through the verification process?
Yes. You should mark “I will not file” in Section D on the Independent/Dependent Verification Worksheet. You will also be required to complete Section E of that worksheet.
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14. My, or my parents’, IRA Distribution was a rollover, but it is showing on my FAFSA. What should I do?
Rollover IRA Distributions should not be counted as untaxed income, however, the IRS Data Match is unable to distinguish these from non-rollover distributions. You should submit a copy of your 1040 tax return, along with a signed statement explaining the error, to the Financial Assistance Office.
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IRS Data Match

15. What is an IRS Data Match, and why should I use it when completing the FAFSA?
FAFSA has partnered with the IRS to allow applicants to select an IRS Data Match to import their tax return information directly from the IRS into their FAFSA. The IRS Data Match makes completing the FAFSA easier and more accurate, and it also allows selected students to complete the verification process more quickly. Students will be prompted to select this option when completing the FAFSA if they are eligible. The IRS Data Match can be selected when originally completing the FAFSA or by making a change to the FAFSA. The IRS Data Match is scheduled to be available late February 2014 for the 2014-2015 FAFSA.
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16. Why am I unable to choose the IRS Data Match?
In certain circumstances, students are not eligible for the IRS Data Match. If the student or student’s parents filed as ‘married filing jointly’ and are now separated/divorced, widowed, or married to a different person, the IRS Data Match is not available. The IRS Data Match is also not available if you have not filed a federal tax return or your return has not been processed by the IRS.
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17. I completed the IRS Data Match, but I feel the information on my FAFSA is incorrect. Is there anything I can do?
Yes. You should submit a signed statement to the Financial Assistance office explaining why you believe there is an error and requesting a review. You should include a copy of your tax transcript as supporting documentation. We will be unable to consider your request without a tax transcript.
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