What is Financial Aid Verification
The verification process is required by the federal government and is intended to improve the accuracy of the information you provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Verification selection can be random or because your FAFSA data was incomplete, estimated or inconsistent. The U.S. Department of Education randomly selects students for the verification process; however we may select students if we find conflicting information.
Documents: The documents we may ask for might include, but are not limited to: a verification worksheet and a copy of your and/or your parent(s) signed IRS tax transcript. TMCC verification documents can be downloaded from our documents and forms page. Depending on what category of verification you have been selected for, you may be asked to submit other documents such as: proof of high school diploma, GED or equivalent; the amount of child support paid; the receipt of SNAP benefits; or simply to verify your identity. All items needed for your verification category will be posted on your To Do List at MyTMCC.
Completing the Verification Forms: Verification forms can be filled in online, or printed out and completed using blue or black ink. In order to protect your privacy, all documents must be submitted to our office in person during regular business hours or delivered by the U.S. mail. Please read all documents carefully. Each question on the forms must be answered, even if the answer is "0", and the forms must be signed in all the necessary areas.
Submission of Verification Documents: Only complete verification packets will be accepted. Any student who submits incomplete documentation to our office will be notified by their official TMCC email account and will have 30 days to complete the file. If files are not complete within 30 days, documents will become inactive. Note that submitting verification documents to our office does not constitute a complete file, so please allow for processing time.
Verification Process: Please be aware that the verification process can take 4-6 weeks during peak processing time, so do not delay, complete your file early and visit our dates and deadlines page. If you have questions about the information needed on the verification documents, please contact our office.
Note that if you use the IRS Data Retrieval tool in the FAFSA application, you may not need to submit copies of tax transcripts.
IRS Tax Data Retrieval and Tax Return Transcript Request Process
Students completing the FAFSA may be eligible to use the automated IRS Data Retrieval function during the application process to have their Federal Tax return data captured from the IRS and entered into the FAFSA application. Using this process, a student may avoid having to submit copies of their tax return transcript if they are selected for Verification, and it is the easiest and fastest way to have your information verified.
If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when you filed the FAFSA you may still do so:
- Login to the FAFSA website to "Make FAFSA Corrections".
- In the Financial Information section of the FAFSA click "Link To IRS".
- On the IRS website, fill out the form and click on "Transfer my tax information into the FAFSA".
Note: Tax information electronically filed within the last two weeks or submitted by mail within the last eight weeks may not be available.
Below are examples of who would be ineligible for the IRS Data Retrieval function:
- A married student and spouse who filed separate tax returns;
- Married parents of a dependent student who filed separate tax returns;
- A student or parent who had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year;
- A married student or married parents that filed Head of Household;
- Independent students or parents of a dependent student who filed a Puerto Rican tax return or a foreign tax return;
- Independent students or parents of a dependent student who filed an amended tax return;
- If the parent or student was not married in the prior tax year, but was married at the time the FAFSA was filed; the current spouse's income must be counted on the FAFSA;
- If the tax filer is married to someone other than the individual included on the prior year joint tax return.
Note that students and/or parents who are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval or do not want to use the IRS Data Retrieval, will be required to obtain official IRS Tax Return Transcripts if selected for verification. TMCC is no longer allowed to accept copies of income tax forms.
IRS Tax Return Transcript Request Process
Tax filers can request a free transcript of their tax return transcript from the IRS in one of three ways:
- Online Request
- Available on the IRS website.
- In the Tools section of the homepage, click "Order a Return or Account Transcript"
- In #3, "Go Get Your transcript", click on "Order a Transcript".
- Enter the tax filer's Social Security Number, date of birth, street address, and zip or postal code. Use the address currently on file with the IRS. Generally this will be the address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
- Click "Continue".
- In the Type of Transcript field, select "Return Transcript" and in the Tax Year field, select the tax year required for your FAFSA (those who filed an Amended 1040 tax form will need to order a Tax Return Transcript and a Tax Account Transcript).
- If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address included in their online request, within five to 10 days from the time the online request was successfully transmitted to the IRS.
- IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested online cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.
- Telephone Request
- Available from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-9946.
- Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their social security number and the numbers in their street address. Generally this will be numbers of the street address that was listed on the latest tax return filed; however, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
- Select "Option 2" to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript and then enter the tax year required for your FAFSA. If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in their telephone request, within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.
- IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested by telephone cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.
- Paper Request Form – IRS Form 4506T-EZ
- IRS Form 4506T-EZ should be used instead of IRS Form 4506-T because it is sufficient to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript.
- Complete lines 1–4, following the instructions on page 2 of the form. Note that line 3 should be the most current address as filed with the IRS. It is the address where the IRS Tax Return Transcript will be sent. If the address has recently changed, include the address listed on the latest tax return filed on Line 4. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
- Line 5 provides tax filers with the option to have their IRS Tax Return Transcript mailed directly to a third party by the IRS.
TMCC requests tax transcripts to be submitted with TMCC Verification form.
- On line 6, enter the tax year required for your FAFSA to receive IRS tax information.
- The tax filers (or spouse if requesting information from a joint tax return) must sign and date the form and enter their telephone number. Only one signature is required to request a transcript for a joint return.
- Mail or fax the completed IRS Form 4506T-EZ to the appropriate address (or FAX number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506T-EZ.
- Tax filers can expect to receive their transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes their signed request. NOTE: Processing form 4506T-EZ means verifying/validating the information provided on the form. If any information does not match the IRS records, the IRS will notify the tax filer that it was not able to provide the transcript.
If an IRS 1040 tax form will not and is not required to be filed, the filer(s) must attest that an IRS 1040 has not and will not be filed and that the IRS 1040 is not required to be filed. Copies of all W-2 forms from all employers must be submitted with a TMCC Income and Expense form.
TMCC's Financial Aid office website provides further verification and IRS data retrieval information with a selection of short videos.