- Verification Checklist
- IRS Data Retrieval Process
- Tax Transcripts
- If You Have an Extension to File Taxes
- If You Filed an Amended Tax Return
Verification is a process where schools need to collect documentation from families to verify that the information reported on the financial aid applications was accurate. We compare the information on those documents to the information on the aid applications and we make any necessary corrections. We then re-calculate the students's eligibility for aid. At Saint Mary's College all students then receive a new financial aid award letter, even if there were no changes to the financial aid. Note that no need-based aid funds will be credited to student account bills until after the verification process has been completed.
The documents we need in order to complete verification include the following. Additional information may be requested on a case-by-case basis. Our priority date for submitting verification documents is April 1. If we do not receive verification documents by April 1st, we cannot guarantee that the student’s financial aid eligibility will be finalized before payment is due.
- The student must complete a Verification Statement
- New students can find this form online at https://www.saintmarys.edu/financial-aid/verification Be sure to choose the form for the correct academic year.
- Current Saint Mary’s students can find this form online at https://my.saintmarys.edu/web/financial-aid/financial-aidpage
- The parent of dependent students must complete a Parent Verification Statement. Parents can find this form online at https://www.saintmarys.edu/financial-aid/verification Be sure to choose the form for the correct academic year.
- Copies of the parent(s) and student W2 wage statements, Schedule C and/or K1 (1065) statements from the federal tax return should be uploaded as part of the online Verification Statements.
- Parent and student official IRS tax data which can be sent to us either by updating the FAFSA with data pulled directly from the federal income tax return (see IRS Data Retrieval Process for more information) – or by requesting a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS (see Tax Transcripts for more information).
IRS Data Retrieval is a process where a student and parent can have their income information pull directly from the federal income tax return onto the FAFSA. This data retrieval can occur either when the student is initially submitting her FAFSA, or after the FAFSA has already been submitted by logging back into www.fafsa.gov and making a correction to the FAFSA.
In order for the IRS Data Retrieval process to work:
- At least two weeks must have passed since the tax return was submitted to the IRS.
- When trying to retrieve tax data, the address of the tax payer must be entered exactly as it appears on the tax return.
- The tax payer must not 1) be married and filing separate tax returns, 2) have had a change of marital status after December 31, or 3) have filed an amended tax return. In all of these situations, the tax filer must submit a Tax Transcript.
To use the IRS Data Retrieval process:
- Go to studentaid.gov/fafsa to either complete the FAFSA or correct a FAFSA that has already been submitted.
- In the Parent Financials section make sure you answer that the tax return has “already been completed".
- You will then be presented with a set of questions to determine if you qualify to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process. If, based on how the questions are answered, you qualify to use the data retrieval process, you will be presented with the option to link to the IRS website.
- Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS web site.
- On the IRS web site, enter the requested information. Make sure you enter your address exactly as it appears on your tax return.
- Once the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display.
- If you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with tax information will be marked with "Transferred from the IRS." Do not make changes to information marked "Transferred from the IRS".
- Update the “wages earned” if not accurate, as this information is not transferred from the IRS.
- Once you have completed steps 2-10 for the parent(s), repeat these steps for the student if the student filed a tax return.
- Submit your FAFSA with the corrections.
When a tax return filer...
If tax return filed electronically...
If tax return is filed manually...
Has no amount owed to the IRS or has an expected refund at the time their tax return was submitted to the IRS
Has an amount owed to the IRS and makes a full payment on that amount at the time their tax return was submitted to the IRS
Has an amount owed and subsequent to submitting their tax return to the IRS, pays the full amount due
At the time their tax return was submitted to the IRS, has an amount owed and has not paid in full.
Requesting a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS is FREE!
To Get a Tax Transcript
- Go to www.irs.gov and click on Get Your Tax Record.
- Complete and mail a request for a transcript (IRS form 4506T-EZ or 4506-T) to the address listed on the form.
- Be sure to order a tax return transcript, NOT a tax account transcript.
How Long Will it Take?
Tax payers can request a tax transcript after the IRS has processed your tax return.
- If you filed your tax return online, the IRS should be able to process a request for a Tax Transcript within 3 weeks of when you filed your tax return.
- If you filed a paper tax return, the IRS should be able to process a request for a tax transcript within 8 to 11 weeks of when you filed your tax return.
- The tax transcript should be received 5 to 10 days after the request was submitted.
Special Circumstance - IRS Identity Theft
- Tax filers who are victims of IRS identity theft will be denied a tax transcript through the regular request methods and will be referred to the Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU).
- Filers who believe they are victims of identity theft do not need to be referred to IPSU.
- IPSU can be reached at 800-908-4490 or by visiting the ID theft website on www.irs.gov.
- When IPSU authenticates the filers identity, a paper alternate tax transcript will be mailed.
If a taxpayer has an extension to file taxes, we can temporarily proceed with processing aid if the Financial Aid Office receives the following documents:
- A signed statement that the taxpayer(s)
- Have not filed the requested year's income tax return, and
- Lists the sources of all income along with the amount from each source for the requested year
- If self-employed, the signed statement must also include the amount of AGI and US Income Tax expected to be paid
- A copy of the IRS’ approval for an extension beyond the automatic six month extension for the requested tax year
- Confirmation of non-filing from the IRS dated on or after October 1, of the following year
- Copies of IRS Form W2 for each source of employment income from the requested year
The Office of Financial Aid will complete an estimated verification based on the above documents and aid will be credited to the fall semester student account. Before we can pay the aid for the spring semester, we must receive the final tax return either via IRS data retrieval or via Tax Return Transcript.
In addition to submitting the W2 and/or K1 statements, Schedule C, and the Verification Statement, those who file amended tax returns will need to send to the Financial Aid Office:
- A Tax Return Transcript or a signed copy of the original tax return, and
- A signed copy of the amended tax return (the 1040X)
If you have questions, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 574-284-4557 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.