Items Required to Complete the Federal Verification Process
Students are randomly selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education. We can no longer accept a copy of your Federal tax return; instead if you did not select the IRS Data Retrieval option when completing your FAFSA, you will need to either correct your FAFSA to select this option or request a Tax Return Transcript directly from the IRS.
While encouraged, tax transcripts submitted to the University for verification do not need to be signed by the tax filer. Along with the tax transcript, an independent student must submit a copy of each of student and/or spouse’s W-2 forms if s/he filed a joint return and is separated, divorced, or a widow to the University.
Tax Extensions: If you have been granted a tax filing extension, submit a copy of IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, along with your verification worksheet. If you have requested a further extension, provide a copy of the IRS’s approval of that additional extension. In addition, please submit a copy of all of your W-2 forms or, if self-employed, a signed statement with the amount of your AGI. In some cases, we may request that you submit a copy of your tax transcript after filing your return.
Amended Tax Return: Students who file an amended return cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval process. Instead, they must request a tax return transcript, but because that document only contains the information on the original return, they must also request a tax account transcript, which contains only the data that was altered. Both documents together can then be used to complete verification. If the tax filer chooses to order them on paper, s/he must use IRS Form 4506-T rather than Form 4506T-EZ.
How To Use the IRS Data Retrieval Option to Complete the Verification Process
If students cannot or will not use IRS Data Retrieval, either at initial FAFSA filing or though the SAR correction process, they must provide an IRS tax return transcript for the student and spouse, if married.
Under the following conditions you may not have the option of using the IRS Data Retrieval (and must request a tax transcript):
- The person did not indicate on the FAFSA that the tax return has been completed.
- The marriage date is January 2014 or later.
- The first three digits of the SSN are 666.
- The tax return was amended.
- The person filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return.
- The person is married and filed the tax return either as head of household or married but filing a separate return.
- Neither married parent entered a valid SSN.
- A non-married parent or both married parents entered all zeroes for the SSN.
How To Use the IRS Tax Return Transcript to Complete the Verification Process
Tax filers can request a transcript, free of charge, of their 2013 tax return from the IRS in one of three ways, either online, by phone, or by mail using IRS Form 4506T-EZ.
- Available on the IRS website
- In the Online Services section of the homepage click “Order a Tax Return or Account Transcript”
- Click “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 “2013”.
- If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address included in their online request, within 5 to 10 days from the time the on-line request was successfully transmitted to the IRS.
- IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested online cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.
- 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 “2013”.
- 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.
- Download the form
- 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. Please do not list the University of Chicago and request that the transcript is mailed directly to the University. Instead, please have it mailed directly to you.
- On line 6, enter “2013” to receive IRS tax information for the 2013 tax year that is required for the 2014-2015 FAFSA.
- 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.