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Approximately 30 percent of all applications are picked for a process called Verification by the Department of Education.

If your application is picked for Verification, you (and your parents if "Dependent" by Federal guidelines) will need to submit copies of your Federal Tax Return Transcripts and complete both Verification and Supplemental worksheets.

The Financial Aid Office sends each student a letter and email requesting any additional documents needed after their initial review of the FAFSA. You can view your requested documents on MyAACC (Menu > Self Services > Credit Students > Financial Aid > Requested Financial Aid Documents).  Forms can be downloaded and printed from there.  Complete and sign all requested items and submit them to our office for processing.­

Personal copies of federal income tax returns can no longer be accepted!  Families, who did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and are selected for Verification, must submit a Tax Return Transcript (and possibly a Tax Account Transcript) from the IRS.  Dependent students must also submit one for the parents listed on the FAFSA.  There are three ways to get these paper transcripts from the IRS:

  • To print transcripts online, go to (Tools > Get a Transcript of Your Tax Records > Get Transcript Online).
  • To request online and receive by mail, go on (Tools > Get a Transcript of Your Tax Records > Get Transcript by Mail).
  • To request by phone and receive by mail, call 1-800-908-9946.

If you filed an amended return, you will need both the Tax Return Transcript and the Tax Account Transcript! The IRS does not charge a fee for these transcripts.  Allow 5-10 days for delivery if you order online or by phone.

Tax Return Transcripts

A Tax Return Transcript shows the most line items from your tax return (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) as it was originally filed and any accompanying forms and schedules.  It does not reflect any changes you, your representative, or the IRS made after the return was filed.  In many cases, a Tax Return Transcript will meet the requirements of lending institutions such as those offering mortgages and for applying for student loans.

Tax Account Transcripts

A Tax Account Transcript shows any later adjustments either you or the IRS made after the tax return was filed.  The Tax Account Transcript shows basic data, including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income, and taxable income.

Important Notes

Please be aware that if you worked and earned income, (regardless of whether you received a W-2 or 1099 from your employer), you may be required to file a federal income tax return.  Please refer to p6 of IRS Publication 17 or contact the IRS or your tax preparer for guidance.  Any tax filing issues must be resolved before we can process your financial aid application.

Aid awards may need to be adjusted if there are differences between the data reported on the FAFSA and that reported on your tax transcripts and verification worksheet. A file can be selected for verification at any time. Any transaction with the Federal Processor can trigger information to change. We evaluate the files during the whole school year. Awards can be adjusted at any time. If you have already been paid and you are selected for verification, your money may be pulled back until verification is complete. Failure to participate may cause your financial aid to be cancelled.

In order to be eligible to receive federal, state and college student financial aid, you must meet all of the General Eligibility Requirements.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

All students are strongly encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when filling out their FAFSA. If you submitted your FAFSA before filing your taxes, remember to go back and update your FAFSA information after your taxes are filed. 

Electronically-filed tax return information will be available online from the IRS site in one to two weeks after the return has been filed.

Data from paper tax returns will be available in six to eight weeks.

Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in your FAFSA

  • Go to and log in with your FSA ID and click on “Make Corrections."
  • Click on the “Financial Information” tab and follow the instructions to see if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Follow the same steps for parent information.
  • Next click the “Transfer Now” to transfer the tax information to your FAFSA. If you do not click “Transfer Now” your tax information will not transfer. Do not make changes to the tax information once the transfer has taken place.
  • After successfully using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, go to the “Sign and Submit” tab to submit your corrections.
  • Our office will usually receive your information in three to five business days.

Common Errors

  • Do not make changes to your tax and income data once the "transfer" has taken place! If any data element transferred from the IRS is changed, ALL of the "Transferred from the IRS" labels will disappear. To restore any IRS data, you must re-retrieve the information by going back to "Make Corrections" and start over. Making changes to your tax information is likely to result in you providing your tax return transcripts to our office.
  • Every time you make FAFSA corrections or changes, be sure to re-link your tax records using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Who should not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

  • Parents with all zeros for Social Security numbers.
  • Students using an 888 identifier in place of a Social Security number.
  • Any student or parent with a marital status date later than the first of the year.
  • Any student or parent who indicates they have not yet filed, or will not file, a tax return.
  • Parents with a tax status of “married filing separately.”
  • Students or parents who filed an amended tax return.

Login to MyAACC to check for updates daily (Menu > Self Services > Credit Students > Financial Aid > Requested Financial Aid Documents). Once we receive a successful match, your "Requested Financial Aid Documents" list will be updated.

If you are unable to participate in the match, you will need to request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS at