What is verification?
How will I know if I am selected for verification?
Should I send documentation even if my application has not been selected for verification?
Why was I selected for verification?
If I am selected for verification, what do I need to do?
If your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was selected, participation in the verification process is mandatory and must occur before need-based Federal student financial aid will disburse. Students must submit the required documentation to verify the information on the FAFSA. Students may log into UConn’s Student Administration (SA) System to review any outstanding requirements in the View My Financial Aid section of the site.
Please note that during the process of verification, new or additional information may be required in order to clarify inconsistencies. The Office of Student Financial Aid Services (OSFAS) will contact you via email if additional clarification is needed, and the View My Financial Aid section of the SA System may be updated accordingly. It is important to respond to any information requests immediately.
Per regulations, the OSFAS can not accept copies of tax returns for verification purposes, except in rare, special circumstances. Therefore, if tax and income data are requested, students should either update the FAFSA application by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the online FAFSA website –or- provide an official IRS Tax Return Transcript. A free IRS Tax Return Transcript may be obtained directly from the IRS by online request, by calling 1-800-908-9946, or by completing and mailing Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, selecting the “Return Transcript” option. Further information about IRS tax return transcripts can be found at www.IRS.gov.
Verification will be completed when all required information is received by the OSFAS. Your financial aid will not show as anticipated or be disbursed until all submitted documentation has been verified by the OSFAS, and the U.S. Department of Education has received and accepted any changes to the original FAFSA data.
What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) and why should I use it?
When is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) available for use?
Are there filers who should not attempt to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) if selected for verification?
There are certain circumstances in which filers cannot or should not attempt use of IRS Data Retrieval and should request the IRS Tax Return Transcript instead if documentation of income/tax info is required for verification. These are:
- Any tax filer whose marital status has changed from the time s/he has filed the FAFSA to present. Use of the IRS DRT will not supply enough information in these cases to accurately complete verification.
- Filers who were married the previous calendar year but now are separated/divorced should also submit all W-2 forms if selected for verification
- Filers whose tax filing and marital statuses are inconsistent with reported household information on the FAFSA may be required to send additional documentation.
- Biological/adoptive parents of a dependent student who are unmarried, but live together
- Married tax filers who…
- file Married-Separately
- file Head of Household (meeting the special requirements regarding timing and maintenance of a separate household from their spouse). Additional documentation of these circumstances will be requested.
- Filers who have performed a direct rollover of their IRAs in the previous calendar year. Use of the IRS DRT may make it appear that they have a large amount of untaxed income at their disposal. Filers in these circumstances should submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript with the word “Rollover” next to the “Total IRA Distributions” field and a 1099R or other supplemental documentation from the companies verifying the transaction.
- Filers who have accomplished a conversion to a Roth IRA in the previous calendar year. Use of the IRS DRT may make it appear that they have more accessible taxable income. Filers in these circumstances should submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript with the word “Rollover” next to the “Total IRA Distributions” field and a 1099R or other supplemental documentation from the companies verifying the transaction.
What should I do if I filed an Amended Tax Return?
Students/Parents who use the IRS DRT when completing the FAFSA and have an Amended Tax Return on File with the IRS will be automatically selected for verification.
- Students must submit the required documentation to verify the information on the FAFSA, including a signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X. Students may log into UConn’s Student Administration (SA) System to review any outstanding requirements in the View My Financial Aid section of the site.
What is an IRS Tax Return Transcript? Is this the same as a copy of a tax return?
Can a Tax Account Transcript verify my FAFSA data?
When do I need to submit the verification documents?
The Office of Student Financial Aid Services (OSFAS) will not disburse Federal Title IV or need-based institutional aid until the verification process has been completed. Thus, it is very important for students to submit required documentation as soon as possible. For students whose applications are selected for verification, financial aid awards are considered tentative until the required evaluation related to the verification process is completed.
Students selected for verification and awarded an estimated financial aid package must submit all documentation to the OSFAS by the deadlines indicated. To meet the August 1 Fee Bill due date, documentation must be received by July 1. Students who submit documentation after the July 1 deadline may not have their Financial Aid applied to the University Fee Bill by the August 1 due date. Students who do not submit the required documentation by the final deadline of November 1 will have all of their financial aid cancelled. Student who submit documentation after cancellation will have their financial aid award packages reinstated if funds are available.
Students should not submit documentation unless they receive specific requests from the OSFAS or through the Student Administration System.
Will my financial aid change due to verification?
During the verification process, information is compared to the original data on the FAFSA and corrections may be made. These corrections may lower or raise the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure. Financial need is determined by the EFC, therefore a change to the EFC could impact aid eligibility. If the verification process is completed after a student is initially awarded financial aid, changes to the original aid package may occur. The Office of Student Financial Aid Services will notify you of any changes to aid via your email account and the Student Administration System. In some cases, when financial aid has already been disbursed but the EFC increases after a late verification process, certain forms of aid must be returned to the U.S. Department of Education.
Will being selected for verification prevent my aid from disbursing?
What should I do if I have been selected for verification but have an extension to file my tax return?
What if I am selected for verification but will not file a Federal Income Tax Return?
Are there Special Cases in which other documentation may be accepted in lieu of an IRS Tax Return Transcript or use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
If a student and/or parent is able to obtain alternate official documentation (such as the “Return Transcript for Tax Payer”) directly from the IRS that includes all income and tax information for the tax year to be verified, AND if the Office of Student Financial Aid Services (OSFAS) judges this alternate documentation to be official and complete,, such documentation may be used in rare circumstances to complete the verification process in lieu of the IRS Tax Return Transcript. The OSFAS is aware of only the following circumstances in which students and parents who have filed returns cannot use IRS Data Retrieval, nor can they submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript:
- Cases of Identity Theft: The student and/or parent should submit…
- Statement signed and dated by tax filer indicating they were a victim of IRS-related identity theft and the IRS has been made aware AND…
- An IRS Tax Return Database View (TRDBV) transcript
- Filing of Tax Returns Outside the US: When students/ parents are not obligated to file US income tax returns and ONLY file abroad…
- Citizens of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam should submit a signed copy of their commonwealth’s/ territory’s tax return (e.g. the Planilla de Contribución Sobre Ingresos for residents of PR).
- Citizens of the Freely Associated States should submit signed copies of Wage and Tax Statements from each employer –and- a signed statement identifying all income and taxes for the tax year.
- Citizens of foreign countries should submit…
- A signed & dated copy of the foreign tax return with an English translation of all pertinent fields –and- a monetary conversion of foreign currency to US dollars at the exchange rate in effect when you originally filed your FAFSA, –OR-
- A signed statement identifying all income and taxes paid for the tax year (for foreign citizens not obligated to file a foreign tax return)