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Guidelines for the Verification Process

The 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was revised to make the form easier to complete and to improve the accuracy of the information provided on the form. These changes may impact when and how your 2013 federal tax returns are filed and how the 2014-15 FAFSA is completed.

  • Don't forget! File the 2014-15 FAFSA, CODE: 002703 
    • New Admits must file by March 15 at www.fafsa.gov for priority consideration
    • Returning Students must file by April 15 for priority consideration

Don’t Wait, Estimate! Use income estimates if you haven’t filed your 2013 federal tax return yet.

  • What's the next step?
    • Complete the Verification Worksheet
    • Submit your 2013 Tax Data
    • Or request a 2013 Tax Return Transcript. Follow the instructions on 
      How to Request a Tax Transcript the signed tax return transcript to the Office of Financial Aid. Make sure to include the student’s name and ID on the transcript.

Are You Eligible to Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
Dependent and independent applicants (and the dependent applicant’s parent) who meet all of the following criteria may be eligible to use the 2014-2015 IRS Data Retrieval process:

  • Must have a valid Social Security Number and legal name match
  • Must have filed a 2013 federal tax return, and
  • The following does not apply to the applicant and/or parent(s)’ tax filing and/or marital status:
    • Married Filing Separately
    • Filed or will file an amended 2013 tax return
    • Filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
    • Filed using a Tax ID Number (TIN)    
    • Marital status for a 2013 Federal IRS Tax Filing Extension 
    • Applied for a 2013 Federal IRS Tax Filing Extension
    • Tax Transcript not obtainable due to Victim of IRS Identity Theft, must provide a copy of the IRS Form 4506T-EZ or IRS Form 14039 "Identity Theft Affidavit"
    • 2013 Federal Tax Return was recently filed 

Verification Concerns
Tax Return(s) Recently Filed/Tax Data Not Available to Transfer
If the applicant and/or parent recently filed 2013 federal taxes, the FAFSA process will inform the applicant that tax information electronically filed (within the last 2 weeks) or submitted by mail (within the last 8 weeks) may not be available.

Applicant and/or Parent Not Eligible to Transfer Data
When one or more of the first eight tax filing or marital status filtering questions above is applicable, the FAFSA process will bypass the IRS Data Retrieval Tool option and inform the applicant, based on his or her response, that he or she is not eligible to transfer tax data from the IRS to the FAFSA.

If you are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool feature because of your 2013 tax filing and/or marital status, and your 2014-15 FAFSA is selected for Verification, you will be required to submit the following documentation to verify your reported FAFSA income data:

Status  Required Income Verification for Tax Filers 
Married Filing Separately Signed 2013 Federal IRS Tax Return Transcript 
for BOTH tax filers.
Married Filing Head of Household Signed 2013 Federal IRS Tax Return Transcript
Filed or Will File Amended Return Signed 2013 IRS Income Tax Return
*and* signed 2013 IRS Form 1040X.
Filed Puerto Rican Tax Return
Signed copy of the 2013 Puerto Rican Tax Return
Filed Freely Associated States (Republic of the Marshall Islands,
Republic of Palau and Federated
States of Micronesia) Tax Return
Signed copy of the
2013 Wage and Tax Statement
from each employer *and*
signed statement identifying all 2013 income and taxes.
Filed Foreign Tax Return Signed copy of an official English translation of the
2013 Foreign Tax Return
Victims of IRS Identity Theft Signed 2013 IRS Income Tax Return *and* one of:

• Signed copy of IRS Form 14039 “Identity Theft Affidavit” or

• Signed and dated statement stating that the tax filer was a victim of IRS identity theft and that the IRS is investigating the matter or

• Signed police report that may have been filed by the tax filer.

Marital Status Changed for period January 1, 2013 through May 10, 2015.
This may include one of the following:
Parent of a dependent student
whose income is used in the calculation
of the applicant's Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
if the parent filed a joint income tax return and the parent is married to someone other than the individual included on the joint income tax return

• Signed Parents' joint 2013 Federal IRS Tax Return Transcript

• IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2013

• Step-parent signed 2013 Federal IRS Tax Return Transcript

Parent of a dependent student
whose income is used in the calculation
of the applicant's Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
if the parent filed a joint income tax return
and the parent is separated, divorced,
or a widow of the individual included
on the joint income tax return
.

• Signed Parents' joint 2013 Federal IRS Tax Return Transcript

• IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2013

Independent student
who filed a joint income tax return and
who is married to someone other than
the individual included on the joint
income tax return
.
• Signed Student joint 2013 Federal IRS Tax Return Transcript

• IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2013

• Signed 2013 Federal IRS 
Tax Return Transcript for spouse
Independent student
who filed a joint income tax return and
who is separated, divorced or a widow
of the individual included on the joint
income tax return
.

• Signed Student joint 2013 Federal IRS Tax Return Transcript


Verification Required and a 2013 Federal IRS Amended Tax Return Was Filed
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool cannot be used to update the 2013-14 FAFSA when the applicant and/or parents have filed an amended return. Tax documentation to be submitted when 2013 taxes have been amended include: a signed 2013 IRS Income Tax Return *and* a signed 2013 IRS Form 1040X.

Verification Required and a 2013 Federal IRS Tax Extension Was Filed
When the applicant’s FAFSA is selected for verification but the applicant and/or parent(s) have applied for a 2013 IRS Extension to File:

Submit the following documents by the Missing InformationLetter (MIL) request date:
  • Fully completed and signed 2014-15 Verification Worksheet
  • Copy of 2013 IRS Form 4868 – Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Tax Return
  • Copy of the IRS approval of an extension
  • If applicable, a copy of the IRS approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension if the individual requested an additional extension of filing time for tax year 2013
  • Copy of IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income and/or a signed statement by a self-employed individual certifying the amount of the AGI and the U.S. income tax paid for tax year 2013
Interim Verification
Verification is temporarily completed when the above documentation has been received.

Final Verification
Verification is not complete until the FAFSA reflects the actual 2013 Federal IRS Tax Return data. Final Verification is required once the tax return has been filed or before the end of the enrollment period, whichever comes first, or 2014-15 financial aid must be cancelled.

Applicant and/or Parent Eligible to Transfer Data
Visit www.fafsa.gov, FAFSA Corrections, 2014-15, and choose the IRS Data Retrieval feature once your 2013 federal tax return has been processed and the data is available to transfer to your FAFSA.

Applicant and/or Parent Not Eligible to Transfer Data
If ineligible for the IRS Data Retrieval feature, submit a signed copy of your 2013 Federal IRS Tax Return Transcript.

Tax Return IRA and Pension Rollovers and IRS Data Retrieval
When you click on the IRS Data Retrieval within your 2014-15 FAFSA or FAFSA Corrections, you transfer your Federal Adjusted Gross Income, IRS tax paid, Tax Exempt Interest Income, Education Credits, Untaxed IRA Distributions and Untaxed Pensions from your 2013 Federal U.S. Tax Return on the IRS website to your 2014-15 FAFSA.

What Tax Return Information Does Not Transfer to Your FAFSA?
The following does not transfer from your tax return. You must manually enter this information on your FAFSA:
  • Choose  “Already Filed/Completed” a tax return
  • Select Tax Return Filed – (1040, 1040A, or 1040 EZ)
  • Student, Father, and/or Mother’s Income Earned from Work (wages, salaries, tips, business income)

What Happens with Your IRA and/or Pension Rollover?
The data retrieval tool does not identify and exclude tax return IRA and/or Pension distributions that have been rolled over into another account. It will take the IRA/Pension distribution minus the taxable portion of the distribution and enter the result as untaxed IRA and/or Pension on your FAFSA. This may result in a higher Expected Family Contribution (EFC) than you should have.

What Should You Do If You Have a 2013 IRA or Pension Rollover?

  • Do not attempt to correct the information yourself. By changing any of the tax data, you compromise the data transferred from the IRS.
  • Provide the following documentation to Marquette Central:
    • A written notice/request for a correction to your FAFSA Untaxed IRA and/or Pension Rollover
    • A copy of Page 1 of your Federal IRS Tax Return
    • A copy of IRS Form 1099 from the organization the IRA or Pension was rolled into
  •  As long as you have not compromised the tax data by making changes to your FAFSA, once your documentation is received, it will be reviewed and processed.

You Transferred the IRS Data But You Already Updated the Rollover Figures Yourself. Now What Do You Do?

  • Go to www.fafsa.gov, 2014-15 FAFSA Corrections
  • Select the IRS Data Retrieval to transfer your tax data to your 2014-15 FAFSA
  • Do not make any changes to the transferred tax data
  • Provide the following documents to College of Mount Saint Vincent, Office of Financial Aid:
    • A written notice/request for a correction to your FAFSA Untaxed IRA and/or Pension Rollover
    • A copy of Page 1 of your Federal IRS Tax Return
    • A copy of IRS Form 1099 from the organization the IRA or Pension was rolled into
  • Once your documentation is received, it will be reviewed and processed