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 FAFSA Verification

 The Department of Education selects approximately 30% of students who complete the FAFSA for verification. Verification is a process where the school confirms the data reported on the FAFSA is accurate. Students selected for verification will receive notification from the Department of Education on their Student Aid Report (SAR), a letter or an email from the Financial Aid Office, and the required documents will appear on the To Do List on my.NWTC. The type of documents a student is required to submit will vary for each student. Check with the Financial Aid Office if you are not sure what documents to submit. 


If students and parents of dependent students utilize the IRS Data Retrieval tool while completing the FAFSA, this could reduce the number of documents required. Beginning the first week of February, this tool transfers tax data directly from the IRS. In general, if you filed your taxes electronically, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will be available in approximately 2-3 weeks. If you filed a paper tax return, it may take 6-8 weeks for the information to be available via the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Individuals who owe the IRS and have not paid may experience a delay in obtaining tax data.

 Here's how it works:

  • If you indicate the federal tax return has already been completed, an information box will ask if certain situations apply. These situations are used to determine eligibility for the IRS Data Retrieval.

  • If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval, you will be asked your FSA ID and Password and then you must click Link to IRS.

  • The IRS will ask a series of questions to verify you are the taxpayer.

  • Once you have verified your identity and the tax information is available, you must click Transfer Now for the data to populate the FAFSA. If you make any changes to this data, the Financial Aid Office may require you submit a tax transcript.

If the IRS Data Retrieval is unavailable during the initial filing of the FAFSA, you can update this information at a later date.

For step by step instructions, watch this video:





All worksheets are available in our online forms section. Check your Financial Aid To Do list located on the right side of your my.NWTC account to determine which worksheets you need to submit. Be sure you are downloading worksheets for the correct aid year.


The Financial Aid Office must collect tax return transcripts for anyone selected for verification who did not use the IRS Data Retrieval or if the data from the IRS was updated after it was transferred. We are unable to accept a copy of the tax return in place of a tax transcript. The IRS will provide a tax return transcript free for any tax filer. You can retrieve your transcript on the IRS website (IRS preferred method), order a transcript to be mailed, or call 1-800-908-9946. Be sure to order a Return Transcript. If you need to speak to a person at the IRS, call 1-800-829-1040; however you cannot order transcripts using this phone number.

Get Your Transcript Online

  • Go to the IRS website.

  • Click Get Transcript Online.

  • Select Create an Account or if you already have an account, sign in.

  • Type in your name and email. A confirmation code will be sent to your email. You must access this code within 30 minutes. Check your junk mail.

  • Enter your identifying information.

  • You will be required to answer some questions on your credit history. Have this information available to help you with these questions. If you answer incorrectly, you will be temporarily locked out of the site.

  • Choose your site key, challenge questions, username, and password.

  • Once you are on the transcript page, choose the appropriate documentation. For financial aid you need a Return Transcript (2013 for the 2014-2015 aid year; 2012 for the 2013-2014 aid year).

  • Print and mail or fax this document to the Financial Aid Office. Be sure to include the student ID number.

Order a Transcript through the Mail

  • Go to the IRS website.

  • Click Get Transcript by Mail.

  • Type in your identifying information. For joint filers, use the primary filer. Make sure your address is accurate based on US Postal standards for abbreviations. Click Continue.

  • Choose Return Transcript and the correct year (2013 for the 2014-2015 aid year; 2012 for the 2013-2014 aid year).

  • The transcript will be mailed to you. Expect to receive it within 5-10 days. Submit the transcript to the Financial Aid Office. It is recommended you keep a copy for your records.

Order a Transcript using IRS Request Form

  • Go to the IRS website.

  • Download form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return

  • You may choose to have the transcript mailed to a third party; however, it is recommended you have the transcript mailed to you in order to make a copy for your records.

  • Mail or fax the form to the appropriate address.


You will need to submit the following:

  • Signed copy of the original tax return that was filed with the IRS; or a copy of the IRS Tax Return Transcript, AND

  • Signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that was filed with the IRS.

Tax Return Extension

You will need to submit the following: 

  • Copy of the completed Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, IRS Form 4868, AND

  • Draft of your taxes, AND

  • Copy of IRS W-2 form(s) from each source of employment.

  • If self-employed a signed statement certifying the amount of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and the U.S. Income Tax Paid for the tax year.

Victims of Identity Theft

Victims of identity theft who cannot get a return transcript or use the DRT must call the IRS’s Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) toll-free number at 800-908-4490. After the IPSU authenticates the tax filer’s identity, the student can ask the IRS to mail them an alternate paper tax return transcript known as the TRDBV (Transcript DataBase View) that will look different than a regular transcript but that is official and can be used for verification.

Questions? Contact us!