Federal Verification 2020-21
Federal verification is an important part of the financial aid application process. If you are selected for federal verification, these requirements must be met in order for us to disburse financial aid to your Bursar account.
Cornell’s federal verification deadline is the end of the term or academic year for which the student is enrolled, whichever is sooner. Federal verification materials must be submitted and reviewed before we can process and disburse any federal aid. Students who are applying for institutional aid will not be considered to have a complete financial aid application until all materials have been submitted, including any items related to federal verification.
All verification documents should be submitted to IDOC with your application documents. You will only be able to submit materials to IDOC after you have received an email from the College Board with IDOC submission instructions.
What are the requirements to be met for federal verification?
1. Submit the Federal Verification Worksheet and supplemental documentation to IDOC. Be sure that you are submitting the worksheet that corresponds to the academic year for which you are applying and the dependency status on your FAFSA. These forms require ink signatures. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
The best way to verify income is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) that is part of FAFSA. If you are unable to use the IRS DRT, please provide a signed copy of your 2018 income tax return that was submitted to the IRS or IRS Tax Return Transcripts (for tax filers) [Effective 1/9/19].
IRS Tax Return Transcript Request
A 2018 IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested online, by phone, or by mail.
Get Transcript ONLINE or by MAIL: Go to https://www.irs.gov/, under the Tools heading, click "Get my Tax Record." Select whether you wish to receive a transcript by mail or online. Make sure to request the "IRS Tax Return Transcript" and NOT the "IRS Tax Account Transcript."
- If you're receiving the transcript by mail, indicate your home address as the mailing address and submit to IDOC when you receive it.
- To use the Get Transcript Online tool, the user must have (1) access to a valid email address, (2) a text-enabled mobile phone (pay-as-you-go plans cannot be used) in the user's name, and (3) specific financial account numbers (such as a credit card number or an account number for a home mortgage or auto loan). The transcript displays online upon successful completion of the IRS's two-step authentication. Submit the transcript to IDOC.
Automated Telephone Request: 1-800-908-9946. Transcript is generally received within 10 business days from the IRS's receipt of the telephone request. Indicate your home address as the mailing address and submit to IDOC when you receive it.
Paper Request Form: IRS Form 4506T-EZ or IRS Form 4506-T. The transcript is generally received within 10 business days from the IRS's receipt of the paper request form. Indicate your home address as the mailing address and submit to IDOC when you receive it.
Nontax Filers' Requirements
Dependent students: Nontax filers must provide a non-filing statement with supporting W-2s and/or 1099s if there is earned income. Submit to IDOC.
Foreign Nontax Filers: If the individual lives in a foreign country that is unable to provide a Verification of Nonfiling Letter or confirmation of nonfiling from the relevant tax authority, that individual should provide Cornell with the following:
- A signed and dated statement listing the sources and amounts of earnings, other income, and resources, that supported the individual for the tax year; and
- If applicable, documentation of any earned income; and
- Proof of that taxing authority's filing requirements (if available, documentation from their website is sufficient).
Verification of Income Information for Individuals with Unusual Circumstances
Click the heading of each item below to see more information.
Individuals Who Filed an Amended IRS Income Tax Return
An individual who filed an amended IRS income tax return for tax year 2018 must provide a signed copy of the 2018 IRS Form 1040X, “Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” that was filed with the IRS or documentation from the IRS that include the change(s) made by the IRS, in addition to one of the following:
IRS DRT information on an ISIR record with all tax information from the original tax return; or
A signed copy of your original 2018 income tax return that was submitted to the IRS [Effective 1/9/19]; or
A 2018 IRS Tax Return Transcript (that will only include information from the original tax return and does not have to be signed), or any other IRS tax transcript(s) that includes all of the income and tax information required to be verified.
Submit this documentation to IDOC.
Students or parents who had an IRA or pension rollover during the 2018 tax year need to provide additional documentation. If you used the DRT when you filed your FAFSA, please submit the IRA/Pension Rollover Documentation Form. These forms require ink signatures. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
If you are providing an IRS transcript, please include a signed and dated notation that includes the word "Rollover" beside the applicable item(s) on the transcript.
Individuals Who Were Victims of IRS Identity Theft
An individual who was the victim of IRS tax-related identity theft must complete the following steps:
- Contact the IRS at 1-800-908-4490.
Upon authentication of the tax filer’s identity, the IRS will provide, by U.S. Postal Service, an alternate transcript Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV) of the tax filer’s IRS income tax return information or a signed copy of your 2018 tax return [Effective 1/9/19].
Provide a statement, signed and dated by the tax filer, indicating that he/she was a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft.
Submit this documentation to IDOC.
Individuals Who Filed Non-IRS Income Tax Returns
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 his or her income tax return that was filed with the relevant tax authority. However, if we question the accuracy of the information on the signed copy of the income tax return, the tax filer must provide us with a copy of the tax account information issued by the relevant tax authority before verification can be completed. Submit this documentation to IDOC.
A tax filer who filed an income tax return with tax authority for American Samoa must provide a copy of his or her tax account information. Submit this documentation to IDOC.
A tax filer who filed an income tax return with tax authorities not mentioned above, i.e. a foreign tax authority, and who indicates that he or she is unable to obtain the tax account information free of charge, must provide Cornell with documentation that the tax authority charges a fee to obtain that information, along with a signed copy of his or her income tax return that was filed with the relevant tax authority. Submit this documentation to IDOC.
Individuals Granted a Filing Extension by the IRS
A tax filer who is required to file a 2018 IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS, beyond the automatic six-month extension for tax year 2018, must provide Cornell with the following:
a copy of IRS Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return," that was filed with the IRS for tax year 2018 (For an individual who was called up for active duty or for qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, in lieu of IRS Form 4868, Cornell will accept a signed statement from the individual certifying that he or she has not filed an income tax return or a request for a filing extension because of that service);
A copy of the IRS's approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension for tax year 2018;
Verification of Non-Filing Letter (confirmation that the tax return has not yet been filed) from the IRS or other relevant tax authority dated on or after October 1, 2019;
a copy of IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2018, and;
If self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the individual's Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and the U.S. income tax paid for the tax year 2018.
Submit this documentation to IDOC. Please be advised that the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment will NOT move forward with a review of a student's institutional financial aid eligibility until we have received a valid tax return that has been received and processed by the IRS. We will not accept draft returns or extension approvals.
High School Completion Status
Provide one of the following documents to indicate the student's high school completion status when the student begins college in 2020-21:
A copy of the student's high school diploma;
For students who completed secondary education in a foreign country, a copy of the "secondary school leaving certificate" or other similar document;
A copy of the student's final official high school transcript that shows the date when the diploma was awarded;
A State certificate or transcript received by a student after the student passed a State-authorized examination that the State recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma (GED test, HiSET, TASC, or other State-authorized examination);
An academic transcript that indicates the student successfully completed at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree;
For a student who was homeschooled in a State where State law does not require the student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschooling (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a transcript, or the equivalent, signed by the student's parent or guardian, that lists the secondary school courses the student completed and includes a statement that the student successfully completed a secondary school education in a homeschool setting.
Submit this documentation to IDOC. A student who is unable to obtain the documentation listed above must contact the financial aid office.
Statement of Educational Purpose
You may be required to complete a Statement of Educational Purpose as part of the Federal Verification process. If you are unable to come to our office in person with an unexpired valid government-issued photo identification, you may complete this Statement of Educational Purpose in the presence of a notary public.
The original notarized statement and a copy of the identification acknowledged by the notary public will need to be submitted to our office by mail or in person.