Being selected for FAFSA Verification can be frustrating but the OSU 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.

 

Helpful Links: if you were selected for tax verification be sure to checkout 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 Webpage has additional information on obtaining your tax return transcript or using the 4506-T form to get your Verification of Non-Filing Letter.

 

Q1: I’ve been selected for verification, what does that mean?

A1: The U.S. Department of Education is requiring Oregon State University (OSU) 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 OSU Office of Financial Aid. Corrections to your FAFSA may be necessary if discrepancies are found.

 

Q2: What is the deadline to submit verification documents?

A2: For full consideration of all aid resources, required verification documents need to be submitted for review to the OSU 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. 

 

Q3: What information is required to complete the financial aid verification process at OSU?

A3: 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 MyOSU account to see what verification documents have been requested.

 

Q4: I must verify my high school completion and Identity & Educational Purpose. What must I provide to complete these requirements?

A4: Please provide the OSU 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.

 

Q5: I’ve been asked to provide income information with a verification worksheet. What is acceptable income documentation for verification?

A5: The verification worksheet must be completed and submitted with income information as described in the chart below. Please do not email tax documents to our office.

 

 

If you…

2017-2018 FAFSA year acceptable documentation (tax year = 2015)

2018-2019 FAFSA year acceptable documentation (tax year = 2016)

Filed an IRS tax return…

Successful transfer of 2015 IRS tax information using the Data Retrieval Tool when filing the FAFSA

-OR-

Signed photocopy of the filed 2015 IRS tax return

 

NOTE: If you filed your taxes “married, filing separately” each person will need to submit a copy of their signed 2015 IRS tax return or Tax Return Transcript.

 

Successful transfer of 2016 IRS tax information using the Data Retrieval Tool when filing the FAFSA

-OR-

2016 IRS Tax Return Transcript obtained from the IRS website

 

NOTE: If you filed your taxes “married, filing separately” each person will need to submit a copy of their 2016 IRS Tax Return Transcript.

 

Worked but were not required to file an IRS tax return…

Photocopies of 2015 earnings statements (W2’s, 1099’s, etc.) and completed verification worksheet

Parents/Independent students: photocopies of 2016 earnings statements (W2’s, 1099’s, etc.) AND IRS “Verification of Nonfiling Letter” for the 2016 tax year

 

Dependent students: photocopies of 2016 earnings statements (W2’s, 1099’s, etc.)

Did not work and not required to file an IRS tax return…

Indicate on verification worksheet

Parents/Independent students: Indicate on verification worksheet AND IRS “Verification of Nonfiling Letter” for the 2016 tax year

 

Dependent students: Indicate on verification worksheet

Filed an amended IRS tax return…

Signed photocopy of the original 2015 IRS tax return AND a signed copy of the 2015 IRS 1040X amended IRS tax return

Signed photocopy of the 2016 IRS 1040X amended IRS tax return and either a 2016 IRS Tax Return Transcript or successful transfer of 2016 IRS tax information using the Data Retrieval Tool when filing the FAFSA

You are a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and cannot get a tax return transcript or use the FAFSA Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)

 

Call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 to request a “Tax Return Data Base View” (TRDBV) for the 2015 tax year and sign the verification worksheet affirming the tax-related ID theft

Call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 to request a “Tax Return Data Base View” (TRDBV) for the 2016 tax year and sign the verification worksheet affirming the tax-related ID theft

Filed a foreign return or had foreign income

A signed photocopy of original 2015 tax document, translated into English, and converted into US dollars

A signed photocopy of original 2016 tax document, translated into English, and converted into US dollars

Filed a US Territory Tax Return

A signed photocopy of the filed tax form or transcript that was obtained at no cost from the relevant taxing authority of a U.S. territory (Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands) or commonwealth (Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands), or a foreign central government that lists 2015 tax account information of the tax filer

A transcript obtained at no cost from the IRS or other relevant tax authority of a U.S. territory (Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands) or commonwealth (Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands), or a foreign government that lists 2016 tax account information of the tax filer

Granted a federal tax filing extension

 

*Note: An institution may require that, after the income tax return is filed, an individual granted a filing extension beyond the automatic six-month extension submit tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or by obtaining a transcript from the IRS that lists tax account information. When an institution receives such information, it must be used to reverify the FAFSA information included on the transcript.

For an individual who is required to file a 2015 IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS—

(a) A copy of IRS Form 4868, ‘‘Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,’’ that the individual filed with the IRS for tax year 2015;

(b) If applicable, a copy of the IRS’s approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension if the individual requested an additional extension of the filing time for

tax year 2015;

(c) Confirmation of non-filing from the IRS or other relevant taxing authority dated on or after October 1, 2016;

(d) A copy of IRS Form W–2 for each source of 2015 employment income received or an equivalent document; and

(e) If self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of AGI and U.S. income tax paid for tax year 2015.

For an individual who is required to file a 2016 IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS beyond the automatic six-month extension for tax year 2016—

(a) A copy of IRS Form 4868, ‘‘Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,’’ the individual filed with the IRS for tax year 2016;

(b) A copy of the IRS’s approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension for tax year 2016;

(c) Confirmation of nonfiling from the IRS dated on or after October 1, 2017;

(d) A copy of IRS Form W–2 for each source of 2016 employment income received or an equivalent document; and

(e) If self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of AGI and U.S. income tax paid for tax year 2016.

 

Q6: What if my marital status has changed since filing my federal taxes?

A6: 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.

 

Q7: What if my current financial situation is no longer consistent with my tax information on the FAFSA?

A7: We recognize that students and parents may have concerns with 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.

 

Q8: I am a dependent student, who should/can be included in my household size?

A8: 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.

 

Q9: I am an independent student, who should be included in my household size?

A9: 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.