FAFSA and the Federal Verification process
Your 2013-2014 FAFSA may be selected by the Federal Department of Education for a process known as “Federal Verification”. This process requires the school to confirm your taxable income with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The process has been streamlined this year by allowing online data retrieval from the IRS website directly to your FAFSA.
PLEASE NOTE: Students who are not currently enrolled at Columbia or who are applying for admission to Columbia do not need to submit additional paperwork for the Federal Verification process at this time. If you do enroll at Columbia, our office will work with you during the summer to collect the required documentation.
Retrieval Tool via FAFSA or submit an IRS Tax Transcript.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool: If you filed your federal tax return electronically at least two weeks prior to today or submitted your paper returns 6-8 weeks prior to today, you may be eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IDRT). With just a few simple steps, students and parents who have completed their IRS tax return will be able to view and transfer their federal tax information straight from their 2012 tax returns to the FAFSA.
If you have not completed your tax return when your FAFSA is filed, you can use your PIN to sign back into your FAFSA (at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/) and activate the IDRT after your taxes are filed. If you and your parents choose not to select IRS Data Retrieval, you may later be asked to submit 2012 tax transcripts directly to the Financial Aid Office, in addition to the copy of your 2012 federal taxes already submitted via the IDOC service.
- IRS Tax Transcript: Some families may not wish to take advantage of the online IRS Data Retrieval Tool; in that case, a paper tax transcript may be requested directly from the IRS by the family.PLEASE NOTE:You will NOT be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and must submit an IRS Tax Transcript if any of the following apply:
- You are married, but filed separate federal returns for the 2012 tax year
- You filed an amended 2012 federal tax return
- You had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year on December 31, 2012.
To request an IRS Tax Transcript, go to www.irs.gov and click on “Order a Tax Return or Account Transcript” in the TOOLS section.
- Enter your PIN and click Link to IRS. You will not be asked to enter your PIN if you entered a PIN to begin your FAFSA.
- Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS website.
- On the IRS Website, enter the requested information.
- Once the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display. You can either transfer your information from the IRS, or choose to return to FAFSA on the Web from the IRS Web site. If you do not transfer your information or choose not to return from the IRS Web site, you will have to login to open your saved FAFSA.
- If you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with tax information will be marked with “Transferred from the IRS.”