CofC Logo

Verification

Students who apply for federal assistance may be selected for a federal mandated process called verification. The verification process requires that you submit documentation to verify the data submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please understand the verification process is triggered by the Department of Education when the FAFSA is processed. Rarely, does the College of Charleston select students to be verified.

The Financial Aid Office will notify you by email and MyCharleston if you have been selected for verification. Note we adhere to the strictest confidentiality.

Documents needed to complete federal verification process:

  1.  Federal Verification Worksheet: 

  2.  Federal IRS tax return verification:

  • The FAFSA IRS Data Retreival Tool (IRS DRT) is available to use with the 2018–19 FAFSA form. The IRS DRT allows students and parents who filed a U.S tax return with the IRS to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and transfer the data directly into their FAFSA.  Additional security and privacy protections have been added to address concerns that data from the tool could be used by identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns.  Additional information about the IRS DRT may be found via Federal Student Aid.

  • The IRS DRT will not return for the 2017–18 FAFSA form.  If you are selected for 2017-18 verification and need to submit a federal tax return, see information below on How to get a IRS Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.

  • If you are eligible to use the 2018-19 IRS Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using the tool for several reasons:

    • The IRS DRT remains the easiest, fastest, most accurate way to input your tax return information into the FAFSA form

    • It’s the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.

    • You won’t need to provide a copy of your or your parents’ tax return transcript to CofC.
  • To access the 2018-19 FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool:

    • Log into you FAFSA

    • Click the Financial Information tab

    • Answer the questions in the first box to see if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

    • If eligible, enter the FSA ID for the student/parent providing the information

    • Click "Link to IRS"

    • Review the information displayed and select the “Transfer My Information into the FAFSA” option

  • If you are not eligible to use the 2018-19 IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide tax information, and CofC requests a copy of your or your parents' tax return, you will be required to obtain an official IRS Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.  See information below on How to get a IRS Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.  Personal or tax preparer copies will not be accepted. Submit the IRS Tax Return Transcript to the College of Charleston Financial Assistance and Veterans' Affairs Office.

How to get a IRS Tax Return Transcript:

  • Make sure to request the IRS Tax Return Transcript; not the IRS Tax Account Transcript

  • Online:
    • Go to the IRS website Get Transcript to request the IRS Tax Return Transcript be mailed to your address on record
    • Transcripts arrive in 5 to 10 calendar days at the address IRS has on file for you
  • By phone:

    • Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946

    • Follow the prompts to enter your Social Security number and street address

    • Select "Option 2" to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript and then enter the appropriate tax year (Amended filers will also choose the IRS Tax Account Transcript option)

    • If successfully validated, you can expect to receive the paper Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in the telephone request within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request

What if I did not file a IRS tax return:

if you need to submit documentation of Non-Tax Filer status you may now go to the CofC Financial Aid document downloads page at http://finaid.cofc.edu/download-forms/index.php, complete the IRS Non-Filer Statement form, and return to our office.

When can I order my tax return transcripts?

The timing of when you can successfully request a copy of your Tax Return Transcripts depends on if you owe taxes at the time of filing, and if you filed electronically or by paper. See below for more details.

 Filer Status

 Electronic Filing

 Paper Filing

Filer who either did not owe an amount, or is expecting a refund

2-3 weeks after submission in most cases

8-11 weeks later in most cases

Filer who owed an amount, and made a full payment while filing

2-3 weeks after submission in most cases

IRS will start processing the tax return in June, Tax Return Transcript requests can be made successfully 2-3 weeks later in most cases

Filer who owed an amount, and made a full payment after filing

3-4 weeks after the payment is processed by the IRS in most cases

IRS will start processing the tax return in June, Tax Return Transcript requests can be made successfully 2-3 weeks later in most cases

Filer who owed an amount, and have not yet paid in full

IRS will start processing the tax return in May, Tax Return Transcript requests can be made successfully 2-3 weeks later in most cases

IRS will start processing the tax return in June, Tax Return Transcript requests can be made successfully 2-3 weeks later in most cases