What is Verification?
Students who apply for Federal Financial Aid may be selected for a process called verification and must submit documents to confirm the information reported on the FAFSA is accurate. They should respond quickly to any request for information from the Office of Financial Aid and be certain that their name and COTC seven-digit ID number is clearly printed on all documents. Students will be sent an email requesting documents and directing them to download, complete and submit the required forms to the Office of Financial Aid. (If a student does not have an email address on file, a paper letter will be mailed listing the required documents.)
A student and/or parent may be asked to submit tax information which can be provided by an IRS Tax Transcript or the student and/or parent may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to electronically retrieve his tax information via FAFSA on the Web (FOTW). As long as the retrieval is successful and the information is not changed, the student and/or parent may not need to request a tax transcript. In limited circumstances, the taxpayer may not be able to retrieve his IRS information and will have to request a tax return transcript. The taxpayer may print a “Tax Return Transcript” by going to https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript and selecting “Get Transcript Online”. If a copy cannot be printed, the taxpayer can request a Tax Return Transcript be mailed at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript or by calling 800.908.9946.
If an individual filed an amended IRS income tax return, he must provide both of the following:
- An IRS Tax Return Transcript for the tax year or used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool via the FAFSA on the Web, and
- A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X, “Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” that was filed with the IRS.
If an individual is required to file an IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS, he must provide the following documents:
- A copy of the IRS Form 4868, “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.”
- 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 the tax year; and
- A copy of the IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income received for tax year and, if self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the individual’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and the U.S. income tax paid for the tax year.
A victim of IRS identity theft who is not able to obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS DRT, must:
- Contact the IRS at 1.800.908.4490.
- Upon authentication of the tax filer’s identity, the IRS will provide, by U.S. Postal Service, a printout of the tax filer’s IRS income tax return information called a Tax Return Data Base View.
- Submit a signed and dated statement that indicates he/she was a victim of IRS tax related identity theft and IRS is aware of the IRS related identity theft.
An individual who filed or will file an income tax return with Puerto Rico, another U.S. territory (e.g., Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas Islands), or with a foreign country, must
- Provide a signed copy of the income tax return(s).
Verification Document Submission Deadlines
The Student Financial Services Office processes a student’s FAFSAs throughout the year. Students should submit the FAFSA at least four weeks and all verification documents (if applicable) at least two weeks prior to the fee payment due date of the first semester enrolled each academic year. Submitting the FAFSA and/or verification documents after that could result in their financial aid not being available prior to the fee payment due date. For specific fee payment, FAFSA, and verification deadline dates, contact Student Financial Services.
The last day to submit verification documents to receive financial aid for the current academic year is no later than 120 days after the student’s last date of enrollment or mid-to-late September of the following year(the specific date is determined by the federal government each year), whichever is earlier.
All documents submitted to the Student Financial Services become the property of COTC and cannot be returned or transmitted to another institution.