Acceptable Documentation Update for 2015-2016 Award Year Verification

For individuals selected for FAFSA (ISIR) verification who filed a 2014 tax return with the IRS but who are unable to obtain a transcript from the IRS, ED provides an update to the documents which schools may accept. The tax filer will need to provide to the institution proof that the IRS was unable to provide the tax return transcript. Note that, for a tax filer who recently filed their tax return, adequate time should be allowed, generally four to six weeks, for the IRS to have processed the return before a tax return transcript is requested.

The alternative documentation that must be submitted to the institution by a tax filer who meets the requirements described above is as follows:

  1. A signed copy of the relevant (i.e., applicant, spouse, or parent) 2014 IRS tax return that was filed with the IRS.
  2. A statement from the tax filer, on or attached to the tax return, which certifies that the tax return submitted to the institution includes the same information that was submitted to the IRS.
  3. Documentation from the IRS that the transcript request was unsuccessful.
    • For tax filers who requested a transcript using the IRS online transcript request process, a signed and dated copy of the screen shot from the official IRS Web page that displays a message indicating that the transcript request was unsuccessful.

For the reasons noted above, a screen shot saying that the “Get Transcript Online” tool is not available is not sufficient documentation that an attempt to obtain a transcript was not successful.

  • For tax filers who requested a transcript using IRS Form 4506T-EZ or Form 4506-T, a copy of the IRS response that was mailed to the tax filer stating that the IRS could not provide the transcript. The copy of the IRS response must be signed and dated by the tax filer.

Note: Because the IRS does not provide written confirmation of the failure of a transcript request made by calling 1-800-908-9946, there is no alternative documentation for that process. Impacted tax filers must request a transcript using either the online (Get Transcript by Mail service) or paper process (IRS Form 4506T-EZ or Form 4506-T).

  1. A completed and signed IRS Form 4506T-EZ or Form 4506-T that includes on line 5 the name, address, and telephone number of the institution as the third party to whom the IRS is to mail the 2014 IRS transcript. The institution should proceed with verification and simply retain the IRS Form 4506T-EZ or Form 4506-T and not submit it to the IRS. However, if the institution questions the accuracy of the information on the signed copy of the paper tax return, it must, before verification can be completed, submit the IRS Form 4506T-EZ or Form 4506-T to the IRS and wait for the IRS to return the transcript or confirmation that a transcript is not available for that tax filer.

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