Federal Verification: What it Means for You
The Department of Education selects certain FAFSAs for a process called Federal Verification. When this happens, the Financial Aid Office is required to review additional information for that student before disbursing financial aid.
The documents required to satisfy verification can be different for each student, so be sure to review the missing information by logging into your MyUpstate account. You will also receive an email notification letting you know what is required.
Commonly Requested Documents
While each student may have different documentation requirements, here is a list of the most common documents needed.
Statement of Educational Purpose
This form must be completed either in person with financial aid staff or in the presence of a notary. Be sure to bring your government issued photo identification.
Dependent students must submit copies of signed tax returns for themselves, if they filed, and their parent(s). Independent students must submit taxes for themselves and their spouse, if applicable. Taxes should include all of the tax schedules and copies of the W-2(s) for the tax year.
If you did not and were not required to file a tax return, you will need to provide documentation of this. Dependent students indicate their nonfiler status on the verification worksheet. Independent students, their spouses, and parents of dependent students must provide a verification of nonfiling letter from the IRS.
Students will supply information about household size and tax filing status on this worksheet. Dependent students will require a parent signature on the form.
Frequently Asked QuestionsExpand all
I need to complete a Statement of Educational Purpose, what should I do?
I am unable to come in person to complete the Statement of Educational Purpose, what should I do?
If you can't come in person to campus, then you must take a BLANK copy of the form to a notary. Show the notary your original government issued photo identification to prove that you are who you say you are. Then you must complete the form in front of the notary. After you have completed the form, the notary must notarize it and put their seal on it. Make a copy of the government identification you presented to the notary and send the ORIGINAL notarized form and identification copy to our office by mail. Remember, we must have the notary stamped original form sent to our office, it cannot be scanned or a copy of the original.
Our mailing address is:
Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
Weiskotten Hall Room 1213
766 Irving Ave
Syracuse, NY 13210
How do I request verification of nonfiling?
You requested my tax returns, is there anything else I can send you instead?
The fastest and most secure way to submit your tax information to our office is by returning to the FAFSA and using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The DRT will take you to the IRS website and ask for identifying information. Make sure the address you enter in the IRS DRT matches EXACTLY what you put on your tax return for that year. For instance, if you put your apartment number in the address line instead of the apartment number box, make sure you enter it the same way on the IRS website. If your information matches their records, they will import your tax return into your FAFSA. This will fulfill the tax return requirement.
We will, however, still need copies of the W2s.
What if I don't have a copy of my taxes?
I tried to get my tax return at IRS.gov but it wouldn't let me. What should I do?
Why do you need my W2s, isn't that already on my taxes?
I filed an amended tax return, what do you need?
I was a victim of IRS Tax Related Identity Theft, what documentation should I provide?
If you were the victim of IRS tax-related identity theft, you will need to do the following:
- Contact the IRS at 1-800-908-4490
- Once you've authenticated the tax filer's identity, the IRS will mail an alternate transcript Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV) of the tax filer's IRS income tax information
- Provide a signed and dated written statement from the tax filer indicating they were a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft
- Submit the letter and the TRDBV to our office alone with any W2s
I filed a non-IRS Tax return, do you still need my taxes?
A tax filer who filed an income tax return with Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands may provide a signed copy of the income tax return that was filed with the relevant tax authority.
If the tax filer filed an income tax return on American Samoa, you must provide a copy of the tax account information.
If you filed an income tax return with a different country's tax authority, you will need to provide a certified translation of that document. If you are unable to obtain the tax account information free of charge, you must provide our office with documentation that the tax authority charges a fee to obtain that information along with a signed, translated copy of the tax return filed with the relevant tax authority.