Being selected for FAFSA Verification can be frustrating but the TU Office of Financial Aid is here to help. Below you will find answers to the most common questions people have about navigating the Verification process. Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.
If you were selected for tax verification be sure to check out this helpful video on how to use the Data Retrieval Tool
to download your tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA.
If that tool doesn’t work for you, the IRS Web page has additional information on obtaining your tax return transcript
or using the 4506-T
form to get your Verification of Non-Filing Letter.
1: I’ve been selected for verification, what does that mean?
The U.S. Department of Education is requiring Thomas University (TU) to review your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information and verify the data entered on your FAFSA is accurate. We complete the verification process by comparing FAFSA data with federal tax documents and other forms you must provide to the TU Office of Financial Aid. Corrections to your FAFSA may be necessary if discrepancies are found.
2: What is the deadline to submit verification documents?
For full consideration of all aid resources, required verification documents need to be submitted for review to the TU Office of Financial Aid no later than 45 days after the initial request for information. Verification documents received after the 45-day deadline can still be verified, but the types of financial aid offered may be limited. The Office of Financial Aid must complete verification before the end of the academic year, or before your last term of attendance in the year, otherwise, you may not be eligible for financial aid, including aid already disbursed.
3: What information is required to complete the financial aid verification process at TU?
Not every student selected for verification will be required to submit the same verification documentation. Please review the Admissions and Financial Aid Checklist or your financial aid eligibility requirements in your My Hawklink account to see what verification documents have been requested.
4: I must verify my high school completion and Identity & Educational Purpose. What must I provide to complete these requirements?
Please provide the TU Office of Admissions a copy of your final official HS transcript, certification of passing scores on GED and similar equivalency tests or other alternatives to satisfy the high school completion requirement. For the Identity & Educational Purpose, please refer to the form found in your Admissions and Financial Aid Checklist for detailed instructions.
5: I’ve been asked to provide income information with a verification worksheet. What is acceptable income documentation for verification?
The verification worksheet must be completed and submitted with income information as described below.
6: What if my marital status has changed since filing my federal taxes?
- If you Filed an IRS tax return, you can
- Successful transfer 2016 IRS tax information using the Data Retrieval Tool when filing the FAFSA. Note: If you have already completed the FAFSA, you can login again and make corrections and use the Data Retrieval Tool.
- Submit the 2016 IRS Tax Return Transcript from the IRS site. NOTE: If you filed your taxes as "married, filing separately" each person will need to submit a copy of their their Tax Return Transcript.
- If you worked but were not required to file an IRS tax return
- Parents/Independent students can provide photocopies of 2016 earnings statements (W2's, 1099's, etc.) AND IRS "Verification of Nonfiling Letter for the 2016 tax year.
- Dependent students provide photocopies of 2016 earning statements (W2s, 1099's, etc.)
- If you did not work and were not required to file an IRS tax return>
- Parents/Independent students need to indicate this on the Verification Worksheet and provide a copy of the IRS "verification of Nonfiling Letter"
- Dependent students will need to indicate this on the Verification Worksheet
- If you Filed an amended IRS tax return
- Please provide a signed photocopy of the IRS 1040X amended IRS tax return and EITHER a Tax Return Transcript OR successful transfer or use the Data Retrieval Tool when filing (or updating) your FAFSA.
- If you are a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and cannot get a tzx return transcript or use the FAFSA Data Retrieval Tool
- Call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 to request a "Tax Return Data Base View" for the 2016 tax y ear and sign the Verification Worksheet affirming the tax-related ID theft
- If you filed a foreign return or had foreign income
- Provide a signed photocopy of your original tax document, translated into English, and converted in to US dollars
- If you filed a US Territory Tax Return
- Provide a transcript obtained at no cost from the IRS or other relevant tax authority of a US territory, Commonwealth or a foreign government that lists 2016 tax account information for the tax filer.
- If you were granted a federal tax filing extension beyond the normal 6-month extension
- Provide a copy of IRS Form 4868 "Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return"
- Provide a copy of the IRS' approval of the extension
- Confirmation of nonfiling from the IRS dated on or after October 1, 2017
- A copy of IRS Form W2 for each source of employment income received or an equivalent document OR if self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of Adjusted Gross Income and US income tax paid.
- NOTE: TU may require that, after the income tax return is filed submit tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or by obtaining a Tax Transcript. This will be used to re-verify the FAFSA information.
The questions on the FAFSA asks about your marital status at the time you file your FAFSA
, and also asks about your federal tax filing status as it was filed. These two may be in conflict with each other if your marital status has changed since you filed taxes, or since you filed your FAFSA. If you filed a “married, filing joint” tax return but are now separated, divorced, or widowed, file your FAFSA with your current marital status and your accurate tax filing status as they were filed, and then contact our office to discuss updating your FAFSA information to separate out your former spouse’s income on your FAFSA.
If you are a dependent student and were single at the time you filed your FAFSA with your parent’s information but you are now married, please contact our office to discuss your change in marital status.
7: What if my current financial situation is no longer consistent with my tax information on the FAFSA?
We recognize that students and parents may have concerns about using their tax return information on the FAFSA because that tax data may no longer reflect your current financial situation. FAFSA filers are still required initially to file FAFSA using the tax return information for the year required, though there is a possibility we may be able to adjust your FAFSA information after that. Federal financial aid regulations allow schools to reevaluate the student’s, or parent’s, financial situation due to a change in circumstances that occur after the FAFSA is filed. After you have submitted your FAFSA you can contact our office to discuss the Special Conditions Appeal option.
8: I am a dependent student, who should/can be included in my household size?
If you are a dependent student, the people reported in your parent(s) household should include you, the student (even if you’re not living at home,) your parent(s) and siblings, if they receive more than half of their support from your parent(s). This may also include any other dependents that live in the household and receive more than half of their support from your parent(s). Your verification worksheet has further instructions regarding whom to report in the household size.
9: I am an independent student, who should be included in my household size?
If you are an independent student, your household should include you, the student, your spouse, and dependents (if applicable). This may also include any other dependents that live in the household and you provide more than half of their support. Your verification worksheet has further instructions regarding whom to report in your household size.