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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). 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. If you are eligible to use the 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 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 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:

    • Please make sure you request the IRS Tax Return Transcript.   We will not accept the IRS Account Transcript.
    • Starting in January 2019, IRS tax transcripts will no longer be sent directly to the Financial Aid Office by IRS; by mail or by fax.
  • Online:

    • Go to the IRS website Get Transcript to request the IRS Tax Return Transcript.  You may Get Transcript Online or by mail.  Mailed transcripts arrive in 7 to 10 calendar days at the address IRS has on file for you
  • By phone:

    • Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946

    • If successfully validated, you can expect to receive the paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in the telephone request within 7 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request

What if I did not file a IRS tax return:

    • You must complete the Parent/Student Non-Tax Filer form found on Financial Aid downloads form page; and,
    • A Verification of Non-Filing Letter from the IRS is REQUIRED for those that did not file a IRS tax return. Request this letter by contacting the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 or IRS website Get Transcript.

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