COVID-19 Safety Information

Federal Verification

The US Department of Education selects certain FAFSA files for a review process called verification. If your FAFSA is selected for verification, the SUNY Cortland Financial Aid Office is required to request certain documents that support the information provided on the FAFSA.  

After submitting your FAFSA, the student will receive an electronic Student Aid Report (SAR), which will indicate if you have been selected for federal verification. In addition, the SUNY Cortland Financial Aid Office will notify the student via myRedDragon regarding required documentation that must be submitted to satisfy federal verification requirements.

Only complete verification documents if you have been selected for verification.

Required Verification Documentation

Verification Worksheet: submit the appropriate verification worksheet based on the dependency status reported on the FAFSA.

2022-2023 Verification Worksheet:

            Dependent Worksheet

            Independent Worksheet

Tax information: Submit tax information from the tax year used when completing your FAFSA.

Students applying for financial aid for 2022-2023 will submit tax information from 2020.

You may submit your tax information through one of the following methods:

  • Preferred method: IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FASFA.
  • If you are unable to utilize IRS Data Retrieval, please submit a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript.
  • Submit a signed copy of your federal tax return with applicable schedules.

Did not file taxes? If the student or parent did not file taxes, the following is required.

  • Dependent Students: If the student did work and did not file taxes, no additional documentation is required. Check the first box in the student section of the verification worksheet. If the student did not file taxes but did work, submit copies of all federal W2s and check the appropriate box of the student section of the verification worksheet.
  • Independent Students: If the student and student’s spouse (if married) did not file taxes, the student must submit the IRS Verification of non-filing for the tax year reported on the FAFSA.
  • Parents: If the parent(s) did not file taxes, the parent must submit the IRS Verification of non-filing for the tax year reported on the FAFSA.    

Verification FAQs

How do I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

The best way to verify income is by using the IRS Data Retrieval tool, which is part of FAFSA. This tool imports  accurate tax information into the FAFSA.

  1. Log into your FAFSA at FAFSA.gov and select “Make FAFSA Corrections,” navigate to student/parent financial sections.
  2. Under the “Income” sections click “Link to IRS” and you will be transferred to the IRS website.
  3. On the IRS website, enter all required information to authenticate your identity.
  4. After verification, your IRS tax information will be displayed. Select "Transfer My Tax Information into the FASFA".
  5. Tax information transferred from the IRS will be marked with “Transferred from the IRS” on your FAFSA

What if I cannot utilize IRS Data Retrieval?

If you are not eligible for the IRS Data Retrieval, please submit a copy of the IRS Tax Return Transcript or signed copy of the tax returns and applicable tax schedules.

Students applying for financial aid for 2022-2023 will submit tax information from 2020.

How do I request an IRS Tax Return Transcript?

If the student or parent is unable to complete IRS Data retrieval, you can request an IRS Tax Return Transcript. A transcript can be requested online, by phone or by mail.

To request online: Go to the IRS Transcript website and select the option to either “Get Transcript online” or “Get Transcript by mail”. Please select transcript type “IRS Tax Return Transcript” (not “IRS Tax Account Transcript”).

  • If you selected to receive your transcript online, it will be offered to you immediately after verifying your identity and creating user name. Provide a copy to our office when received.
  • If you selected to receive your transcript by mail, indicate your home address and submit a copy to our office once received.

To request an IRS Tax Return Transcript by phone, call 1-800-908-9946. Indicate your home address and submit a copy to our office once received. To request an IRS Tax Return transcript by paper request, complete the IRS Form 4506T-EZ and mail to the applicable IRS Office.

How do I request an IRS Verification of Non-Filing?

If the independent student or parent did not, or was not required to file a tax return for the applicable tax year, please submit an IRS Verification of non-filing.

A transcript can be requested online, by phone or by mail.

To request online: Go to the IRS Transcript website and select the option to either “Get Transcript online” or “Get Transcript by mail”. Select transcript type “verification of non-filing”.

  • If you selected to receive your transcript online, it will be offered to you immediately after verifying your identity and creating user name. Provide a copy to our office when received.
  • If you selected to receive your transcript by mail, indicate your home address and submit a copy to our office will received.

To request an IRS Tax Return Transcript by phone call 1-800-908-9946. Indicate your home address and submit a copy to our office once received. To request an IRS Tax Return transcript by paper request, complete the IRS Form 4506-T and mail to the applicable IRS Office.

What if the student/parent an IRA/ pension rollover reflected on my tax return?

If you rolled any portion of a distribution from pensions, annuities, profit sharing, IRAs and / or retirement plans, you must submit a signed copy of the 1099R form and signed copy of the federal tax return for the applicable tax year.

What if the student/parent filed Non US Tax Returns?

If you and/or your parent(s) filed a tax return in a U.S. territory such as Puerto Rico or in a foreign country, please submit signed copies of the foreign tax returns with dollar amounts converted to U. S. currency or the territory’s tax return.

What if the student/ parent was a victim of identity theft?

If you have been a victim of identity theft, you cannot obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript until the issue has been resolved by the IRS.

Tax filers must submit a Tax Return Database View (TRDBV) Transcript by calling the IRS at 800-908-4490. Submit a copy of the TRDBV to our office along with a signed/dated statement that you were a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and the IRS has been made aware of of the tax-related identity theft.

What if the student/parent filed an amended tax return?

If the student or parent filed an amended tax return, please submit the following:

What if my income situation has changed since filing the FASFA?

Please refer to our special circumstances website regarding change of income or other circumstances that can be considered by the financial aid office.