Office of Financial Aid

University of Mississippi

Verification

Verification is an important process created by the Department of Education (DOE) that helps confirm the accuracy of information submitted on the FAFSA, and to correct any inaccurate information. Through collecting and reviewing additional documentation, verification ensures fair and accurate distribution of federal funds during the financial aid awarding process. Additionally, the University of Mississippi Office of Financial Aid may institutionally select FAFSAs for verification where further clarification is needed.

After completing the FAFSA, students will be notified by the Department of Education if they are selected for verification. An asterisk (*) that appears next to the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number on the Student Aid Report (SAR) indicates that the student has been selected for verification. Additionally, a paragraph within the SAR will explain that the student has been selected. Students selected for verification also receive regular email notifications from The University of Mississippi.

The University of Mississippi Office of Financial Aid will compare information from your FAFSA with other required documentation and make any changes to your FAFSA on your behalf as necessary. Student/Parents SHOULD NOT make any changes to the FAFSA during or after verification as it will further delay verification processing unless the Office of Financial Aid requests that you make changes.

No federal or need-based awards can be processed until verification is completed.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have included some helpful information below to assist you with the Verification Process for the 2020-2021 aid year. The verification worksheet that each student downloads to begin the verification process is specific to them and details what information is needed, however, depending on each families situation other documentation may be required. The information below can assist you based on different scenarios under the section called “Other Important Information Regarding Tax Filing Status”.

  • How to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool:

    Students and parent(s) are strongly advised to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in the FAFSA online to transfer 2018 IRS tax information into the FAFSA (either for the original or a corrected FAFSA submission). If you HAVE used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you and/or your parents may not be required to provide any additional tax documentation. If you HAVE NOT yet used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you may still do so by accessing your most current FAFSA online, select “Make FAFSA Corrections,” and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form. From there, follow the instructions to determine if the student/parent is eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer 2018 IRS income tax information to the FAFSA record. Once the IRS data is transferred, please be sure to navigate to the end of the FAFSA to electronically sign and resubmit the FAFSA using your and your parent’s FSA IDs.

    Please be advised that IRS income tax data is usually accessible for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool transfer after two weeks for tax returns filed electronically and up to eight weeks for tax returns filed by mail. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid if you need more information about when or how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

  • How to Request an IRS Tax Return Transcript:

    If student/parent (dependent) or student/spouse (independent) are unable or choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in the FAFSA online, student/parent (dependent) or student/spouse (independent) are required to submit to the school the 2018 IRS Tax Return Transcript(s)—NOT the “Tax Account Transcript”.

    1. To request a transcript, the student or parent tax filer must contact the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 or visit https://www.irs.gov, click on “Get My Tax Record” bar on the IRS homepage.
    2. From there select “Get Transcript Online” to receive an electronic version of the transcript, or “Get Transcript by Mail” to receive a copy by mail.
    3. To Use the “Get Transcript Online” tool, the user must have:
      1. access to a valid email address,
      2. a text-enabled mobile phone in the user’s name (pay-as-you-go plans cannot be used), and
      3. specific financial account numbers (such as a credit card number, or an account number for a home mortgage or auto loan). The transcript displays online upon successful completion of the IRS’s two-step authentication.

    Tax filers may also use the IRS form 4506T-EZ or 4506-T (paper request form) which must be mailed to the IRS to request a transcript. Transcripts requested by mail either by online mail request, by phone, or using the 4506T-EZ or 4506-T forms, are generally received within 10 business days.

  • How to Request IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter:

    To request an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter, your parent(s) or student/spouse (independent) must contact the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 or visit https://www.irs.gov, click on “Get My Tax Record” bar on the IRS homepage. From there select “Get Transcript Online” to receive an electronic version of the Verification of Non-Filing Letter, or “Get Transcript by Mail” to receive a copy by mail.

    If your parent(s) or student/spouse (independent) is/are unable to register or prefer(s) not to use the “Get My Tax Record” online option, your parent(s) or you if you are an independent student (and/or your spouse, if married) must request the Verification of Non-Filing Letter by faxing/mailing IRS Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, to the IRS. You can obtain IRS Form 4506-T online by accessing: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf. Instructions for mailing IRS Form 4506-T are found on the form itself.

    Once the Verification of Non-Filing Letter(s) is/are obtained from the IRS, please submit it/them and the parent/spouse (independent) 2018 W-2/1099-MISC forms (or equivalent documentation) to the Office of Financial Aid.

  • Dependent Student and Parent W-2 Forms/Tax Schedules Reminder:

    You must submit all student and parent 2018 W-2 form(s), and/or any applicable tax schedules (C, F, Schedule 1, or K-1 Form 1065) for your verification to be processed, even if you (and/or your parents) did not, or were not required to file a 2018 tax return. If any income was from a business or farm, please submit the applicable tax schedules (C, F, Schedule 1, or K-1 Form 1065).

  • Independent Student and Spouse W-2 Forms/Tax Schedules:

    You (and/or your spouse, if married) must submit all 2018 W-2 forms and/or any applicable tax schedules (C, F, Schedule 1 or K-1 Form 1065) for your verification to be processed, even if you (and/or your spouse) did not or were not required to file a 2018 tax return. If any income was from a business or farm, please submit the applicable tax schedules (C, F, Schedule 1 or K-1 Form 1065).

  • Other Important Information regarding Tax Filing Status:
    1. ARE YOU A TAX-FILERS WHO REQUESTED AN EXTENSION BEYOND THE AUTOMATIC SIX-MONTH EXTENTION: The Office of Financial Aid will require re-verification of FAFSA information using acceptable tax/income documentation (successful use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, or submission of the 2018 tax return transcripts) once the student/parent (Dependent) or student/spouse (Independent) 2018 tax return is filed with and fully processed by the IRS.

      *NOTE: For tax-filers who requested an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension and were called up for active duty or for qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, in lieu of IRS Form 4868, tax-filers must submit a written, signed statement certifying the tax-filer has not filed a 2018 income tax return or a request for a tax-filing extension because of that military service.

    2. ARE YOU A TAX-FILERS WHO IS THE VICTIMS OF IDENTITY THEFT:
      Student or Parent (Dependent) or student/spouse (Independent) tax-filers who were victims of identity theft and are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or obtain a 2018 IRS Tax Return Transcript must submit ALL the following documentation to complete verification:
      1. a Tax Return Data Base View (TRDBV) transcript obtained from the IRS; and
      2. a statement signed and dated by the tax filer(s) indicating that they were victims of an IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft.
    3. ARE YOU A TAX FILER WHO FILED A JOINT TAX RETURN AND IS NOW SEPARATED, DIVORCED, WIDOWED, OR RE-MARRIED: If the parent(s) or you/spouse (Independent) are included on your 2020-2021 FAFSA filed a joint 2018 tax return, but at the time of the FAFSA submission the reporting parent(s) was/were considered separated, divorced, widowed, or re-married to someone other than the individual included on the 2018 joint tax return, your parent(s) may not be able to successfully use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Therefore, to complete verification, you must submit ALL the following documentation:
      1. a Tax Return Transcript or Record of Account Transcript obtained from the IRS listing the 2018 income and tax information required to be verified, and if re-married, the step-parent’s transcript; and
      2. W-2 forms/applicable tax schedules (C, F, Schedule 1, K-1 form 1065) for each source of 2018 employment income for the parent reported on the FASFA, and if now re-married, W-2 forms/applicable tax schedules (C, F, Schedule 1, K-1 form 1065) for your step-parent, as well.
    4. ARE YOU TAX-FILERS WHO FILED AMENDED TAX RETURN(S): The IRS Data Retrieval Tool in the FAFSA online will only transfer information from an original tax return, and NOT from an amended tax return. Therefore, if an amended return has been or will be filed to the IRS for tax year 2018 for you or your parents, then to complete verification, you must submit ALL the following documentation:
      1. a SIGNED copy of the student/parent (Dependent) or student/spouse (Independent) 2018 IRS Form 1040X (“Amended U.S. Individual Tax Return”); AND
      2. a 2018 IRS Tax Return Transcript, or any other IRS transcript that includes all 2018 income and tax information required to be verified.

      *NOTE: We may also ask for additional information such as updated W2s and/or tax schedules once we review the Amended Return. The best way to ensure you are submitting what we need is to provide us with the documents/items that have been used in the Amended Return Filing.

    5. ARE YOU A TAX-FILER(S) WHO HAVE BEEN GRANTED A TAX-FILING EXTENSION: Because 2018 (“prior-prior year”) tax/income data is required on the 2020-2021 FAFSA, most applicants are able to complete the FAFSA using information on an already completed 2018 tax return. In most cases, once an applicant files the FAFSA, and is notified regarding verification selection and what documentation is required to complete verification, the automatic six-month extension of time to file the 2018 tax return will have passed. Therefore, student/parent (Dependent) or student/spouse (Independent) tax-filers who have been granted the automatic six-month extension for 2018 (i.e., until October 15, 2019) must complete verification either by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or submitting the 2018 IRS Tax Return Transcript(s) to the Office of Financial Aid. Only student/parent or student/spouse tax-filers granted a tax-filing extension beyond the automatic six-month extension for 2018 by the IRS may complete verification by submitting ALL the following documentation:
      1. a copy of IRS form 4868*, “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Tax Return” filed with IRS for tax year 2018;
      2. a copy of the IRS’s approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension if the tax-filer requested an additional extension of filing time for tax year 2018;
      3. a “Verification of Non-Filing Letter” obtained from the IRS, dated on or after October 1, 2019;
      4. W-2 forms/applicable tax schedules (C, F, Schedule 1, or K-1 form 1065) for each source of 2018 employment income; and
      5. if self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the adjusted gross income and income tax paid for 2018.