Verifying Income Data
There are two ways to verify income data:
Option 1: Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
Try this option first. It’s faster and easier.
How to use the Data Retrieval Tool
- Log in to your 2013-14 FAFSA.
- Click on Make FAFSA corrections. Enter your PIN and password. Navigate to the Financial Information section.
- When asked if the student’s parent(s) have completed a 2012 tax return, update the response to “Already completed.”
- The next questions determine your eligibility to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you can answer “No” to all of them, you’ll be able to enter your PIN and link to the IRS website.
- Enter your data exactly as it appeared on your federal tax return. If the IRS is able to successfully verify your identity, your 2012 tax information will display.
- Click Transfer Now and then return to the FAFSA website.
- Repeat these steps in the student section of your FAFSA if the student also filed a 2012 federal tax return.
- Navigate to the Sign & Submit section and submit your corrections.
Option 2: Submit a Tax Return Transcript
If you’re not able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must request a 2012 Tax Return Transcript from the IRS, then forward a copy to our office.
It is recommended that you use the IRS website to order your Tax Return Transcript. However, you also have the option of ordering your transcript by phone or by mailing/faxing in Form 4506-T or 4506T-EZ. The IRS may take several weeks to fulfill your request once it is received.
Your Tax Return Transcript will be mailed to you. Keep a copy for your records and submit a copy to our office by one of the following methods. Contact information is provided in the sidebar:
- Scan and email (preferred)
If you find yourself in one of these rare situations, you will need to submit different or additional documentation to our office in order to verify your income data.
Parents are married, but filed separate federal tax returns.
Each parent (or step-parent) will need to request his/her own Tax Return Transcript from the IRS. Both need to be submitted to our office.
An amended federal tax return (form 1040X) was filed.
You must submit two documents:
1. A signed copy of the originally-filed 2012 federal tax return OR a copy of the 2012 IRS Tax Return Transcript
2. A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that was filed with the IRS.
A tax filing extension was granted.
You must submit all of the following items that apply to you:
- A copy of IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, or, if you requested a further extension, a copy of the IRS’s approval of that.
- A copy of all 2012 W-2 forms.
- If self-employed, a signed statement with the amount of your 2012 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and U.S. income taxes paid.
A non-U.S. tax return was filed.
You must submit a signed copy of your non-U.S. tax return. If your tax return is not in English, you will also need to provide an English translation of the information on the document.