Verification Instructions

Verification Process Instructions

Every year, the federal government selects a portion of FAFSA applicants and requires them to complete this verification process.  For the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years, they waived many, but not all verification requests. 

If you must submit documents, we have posted document requests to your online To-Dos list.  If your list does not include any document requests, then please don't submit these documents.

If you have questions, please see the FAQs at the bottom of this page or contact us.

These verification instructions are slightly different for each academic year.

  • The 2022-2023 Academic Year includes the Fall 2022 - Summer 2023 terms
  • The 2021-2022 Academic Year includes the Fall 2021 - Summer 2022 terms

Step 1 - Review your To Dos List 

  • Before submitting any verification documents, please review your current To Dos list on your Towson Online Services Student Dashboard
  • You only need to respond to the current requests on that list.  If we add any additional requests, we will send a notice to your TU email address. 
  • Follow the instructions below to submit any requested documents.

Step 2 - Submitting the TU Verification Worksheet

  • These are online forms. After you click the final submit button, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to view your "Completed Document."
  • Do NOT fax or email us your worksheet because we will automatically receive it.

If you are a Dependent Student (because your FAFSA required parent data), complete these worksheet steps:

  1. The student must begin the online form and complete the student section.

  2. We will email the form to your parent, and s/he must complete the parent section.

  3. We will email it back to the student who must electronically sign the final worksheet and submit.

  4. The student will receive a submission confirmation email.

2022-2023 Verification Worksheets

Check your To-Dos list on your Towson Online Services Student Dashboard.  If we are still requesting 2022-2023 documents from you, then you must submit those documents to try to receive 2022-2023 aid.  If we are requesting a 2022-2023 Verification Worksheet, please email and ask us to send you a link to the online worksheet.

2021-2022 Verification Worksheets

Check your To-Dos list on your Towson Online Services Student Dashboard.  If we are still requesting 2021-2022 documents from you, then you must submit those documents to try to receive 2021-2022 aid.  If we are requesting a 2021-2022 Verification Worksheet, please email and ask us to send you a link to the online worksheet.

Step 3 - Submitting Tax Documentation

Write the student’s name and TU ID on all tax documents.

For all questions use the following tax return years:

  • For the 2022-2023 academic year, submit 2020 Tax Year data.
  • For the 2021-2022 academic year, submit 2019 Tax Year data.

If you filed a tax return

If the student or the parents who were listed on your FAFSA filed a tax return for the tax year listed above, then each tax-filer must submit the tax documentation that matches your tax return type below.

Required Documents for Tax Filers With:

  • Use the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) (fastest processing)
  • or submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript
  • or a signed copy of your IRS Federal Tax Return (Form 1040) including Schedules 1, 2, and 3 (if you filed these schedules)

You must submit 2 documents:

  • A signed copy of your 1040X - Amended Tax Return
  • and a copy or an IRS Tax Transcript or a signed copy of your original IRS Federal Tax Return (Form 1040) including Schedules 1, 2, and 3 (if you filed these schedules)

You must submit 2 documents:

  • a copy of your IRS 1099-R.
  • and a Tax Return Transcript or a signed copy of your IRS Federal Tax Return (Form 1040) including Schedules 1, 2, and 3 (if you filed these schedules)

If you have IRA/Pension Rollovers they are listed on IRS 1040 form lines 4a-4b.

Submit a signed copy of the foreign/territory tax return and, if applicable, an English translation.

If you also filed an IRS tax return, then you must also follow the relevant IRS Tax Return instructions listed above.

 

All IRS tax filers must choose one of the following methods to submit your tax return data.

IRS TAX Filer Documentation Methods

This method is fastest because we can automatically process your data instead of scanning and manually reviewing it.

  1. Log into your FAFSA for the Tax Return Year listed above.
  2. Select Make FAFSA Corrections.
  3. Go to the Financial Information section.
  4. Use the Previous and Next buttons to choose the student or parent financial data.
  5. Choose Link to IRS to complete the Retrieval Process.
  6. If student and parent both filed taxes, complete step 5 in both sections.
  7. Electronically sign and submit your FAFSA corrections.
  8. Next, the FAFSA processor will send us your data.

If you can't use the FAFSA DRT, have Amended Tax returns, or IRA Pension rollovers, we can accept a signed copy of your IRS Federal Tax Return (Form 1040) including Schedules 1, 2, and 3 (if you filed these schedules)

Please submit tax returns by fax or the Verification Worksheet Upload tool. Don't email them because they contain your SSN.

If you can't use the FAFSA Data Retrieval Tool, and don't have a copy of your federal tax return, follow these instructions to order an IRS Tax Return Transcript.

  1. Request a Tax Return Transcript.
  2. Use the IRS Get Transcript service.
  3. If your parents are married but filed separate returns, you must submit transcripts for both of your parents.
  4. After you receive your transcript, write the student's name and TU ID on it, and submit it to our office.

If you had an Amended Tax Return (Form 1040X), they will issue a Transcript of your original return, and we need that Transcript and a signed copy of your 1040X.

If you have trouble requesting a tax transcript, try entering your address exactly as it was listed on your tax return or enter your address at Look Up a Zip Code to get your standardized USPS address.

 

If you did not file a tax return

If the student or the parents listed on your FAFSA did not file a tax return for the tax return year listed above (and were not required to file one), then you must submit the non-filer documentation requested below.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS - Dependent students
  • If you are a dependent student, and you worked during the tax year listed above, then you must submit W2 forms for all of your employers.
  • (Dependent students do not have to submit proof that they didn't file taxes.)
REQUIRED DOCUMENTS - Independent Students and Parents of Dependent Students
  1. ALL parents and independent students must submit proof that they didn't file a tax return for the Tax Return Year listed above.
  2. You must choose one of the Non-Filing Status Documentation Methods listed below.
  3. If you worked, you must also submit W2 Forms from ALL of your employers.

Non-Filing Status Documentation Methods

Use the IRS Get Transcript service to request a Verification of Non-Filing Letter.

We can also accept an IRS Tax Return or Account Transcript that says, “no transcript on file” or “no record of return filed.”

If you can’t get a VNF Letter from the IRS using option 1 or 2, use the form below for the appropriate aid year.

Residents of foreign countries must submit 2 types of documents:

  1. Documentation of the filing requirements from the relevant tax authority that prove that you weren't required to file taxes
  2. and a signed statement from you confirming that you weren't required to file taxes and that lists all your sources and amounts of income. 

Undocumented parents whose income is above the IRS filing threshold must file taxes. If your income is below the threshold, you must submit 2 types of documents:

  • Copies of your W-2 Forms from all jobs held that year
  • and a signed statement from you that certifies that you don't have a SSN and that lists the sources and amounts of your earnings for the tax year listed above.


Submitting Your Documents

  • Write the student’s name and TU ID on all forms!
  • Do NOT resubmit your online "Verification Worksheet" by fax, mail, or email because we automatically receive it electronically after you click the submit button.
  • Please do not email tax documents because they contain social security numbers.

Choose One of These Submission Methods:

This is the fastest way to submit student or parent tax return data. See instructions above.

If you already have the correct documentation available when you complete your online TU Verification Worksheet, you can upload your documentation and submit it with your Verification Worksheet. Please scan your documents into a single PDF document that contains all relevant pages. Do not submit pictures of your documents.

Use our Financial Aid Document Submission Form to submit scanned documents or document images.  Please combine multi-page tax documents into a single file.

Please do not call to confirm receipt of documents. Please wait two business days, then login to your Towson Online Services Student Dashboard to confirm that the request has dropped off your To Dos list.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions 

The federal government uses a variety of factors when selecting FAFSA applications for verification. Some of the factors are random and some are based on the data that you reported. You can reduce your chances of being selected again by using the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Process.

No. The FAFSA only requires income data from the "Tax Return Year" listed above. You don’t have to update anything when you complete the next tax returns.

Yes. Federal aid regulations insist that you provide financial data for your parent’s current spouse unless your parent is separated from that spouse and they are no longer living together.

Please read the federal guidance on Reporting Parent Data on your FAFSA.

If both of the TU student’s legal parents are separated, but are still living together in the same house, apartment condo, dwelling, etc., then you must check “Unmarried but living together,” and you must report both parent’s information and financial data. The FAFSA rules define “legal parents” as the student’s biological, adoptive, or other parents as determined by state (for example, the parents listed on the student's birth certificate). Do not list any person in the parent section who is not married to your parent and who is not a legal or biological parent.

If you are the student’s FAFSA parent, and you are “Divorced or Separated and living apart” from the student’s parent or separated from a current spouse that is not the student’s parent, then check the “Divorced or Separated” box and do not list your spouse or their financial data on the Verification Worksheet. If you are an Independent student and you are separated from your current spouse, then do not list his or her data on your Verification Worksheet. If you filed a joint tax return with that spouse for the requested tax year, then you must submit 2 types of documents:

  • copies of your W-2 forms from all employers for both spouses
  • and a Tax Return Transcript or a signed copy of your IRS Federal Tax Return (Form 1040) including Schedules 1, 2, and 3 (if you filed these schedules).

You cannot report parent enrollment in college on the Verification Worksheet. If your parent will be attending college full-time, please submit this form:

  • Married couples who filed separate tax returns instead of a joint tax return for the "Tax Return Year" listed above.
  • Anyone who changed marital status after the end of the "Tax Return Year" listed above.
  • Couples who are married, but one spouse filed as head of household for the "Tax Return Year" listed above.
  • Anyone who didn’t file a federal IRS tax return or who filed a foreign or U.S. territory return for the "Tax Return Year" listed above.
  • Anyone who doesn’t have a valid social security number.