Federal Verification 2017-18
For federal verification requirements for 2016-17, click here.
Federal verification is an important part of the financial aid application process. If you are selected for federal verification, the requirements must be met in order for us to disburse financial aid to your Bursar account.
NOTE: students should only complete federal verification documents if they have been selected for verification and have been notified by the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment of their selection.
Students completing verification requirements for the 2017-18 academic year will need to verify
2015 income tax information.
All verification documents should be submitted to IDOC with your application documents.
What are the requirements to be met for federal verification?
1. The Federal Verification Worksheet and supplemental documentation (submit to IDOC). Be sure that you are submitting the worksheet that corresponds to the academic year for which you are applying.
2. Data Retrieval on your FAFSA OR IRS Tax Return Transcripts (for tax filers)
3. Confirmation of Nonfiling Statement from the IRS, dated on or after October 1, 2016 (for nontax filers)
IRS Data Retrieval Tool - Currently Unavailable
The best way to verify income is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) that is part of FAFSA on the Web at https://fafsa.ed.gov. In most cases, no further documentation is needed to verify the income information that was transferred into the student’s FAFSA using the IRS DRT if that information was not changed. In most cases, for electronic tax return filers, IRS income tax return information for the IRS DRT is available within 2–3 weeks after the electronic IRS income tax return has been accepted by the IRS. Generally, for filers of paper IRS income tax returns, the IRS income tax return information is available for the IRS DRT within 8–11 weeks after the paper IRS income tax return has been received by the IRS.
This option is currently unavailable. Please see below about requesting an IRS Tax Return Transcript.
IRS Tax Return Transcript Request
If you are unable to link the FAFSA to the IRS, you must obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript. “Get Transcript” is an IRS online service that will allow you to request and receive an official IRS Transcript by mail, providing your tax return has been processed by the IRS.
- Go to www.IRS.gov and choose "Get a Tax Transcript"
- Do NOT order the “IRS Tax Account Transcript”
- Use the Social Security Number and date of birth of the first person listed on your personal income tax return, and the address on file with the IRS
- Indicate the student’s name and date of birth (or Cornell ID number, if known) on the transcript before sending to our office
Nontax Filers' Requirements
Nontax filers must provide a non-filing statement with supporting W-2s and/or 1099s if there is earned income. Nontax filers are also required to provide confirmation of nonfiling dated on or after October 1, 2016. A confirmation of nonfiling can be obtained from the IRS using Form 4506-T and checking box 7.
Persons who did not file taxes and are subject to a foreign tax authority (not the IRS) must provide a similar confirmation from their taxing authority (e.g., a U.S. territory or a foreign government). If such documentation does not exist, or if the individual is unable to obtain the documentation, we require a signed and dated statement from the individual stating either that the tax authority does not provide such documentation or that the individual was unable to obtain the documentation after contacting the tax authority.
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
When the school is aware that an individual has filed an amended tax return, the school needs to collect the following documents to complete verification for that individual:
- An IRS Tax Return Transcript that includes information from the original tax return OR any other IRS tax transcript that includes all income and tax information from the original tax return required for verification (neither of which has to be signed); and
- A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that was filed with the IRS.
Individuals Who Were Victims of IRS Identity Theft
A victim of IRS identity theft who is not able to obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS DRT 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. Provide this transcript to our office.
- 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.
Individuals Who Filed Non-IRS Income Tax Returns
A tax filer who filed an income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service or the tax authority for American Samoa must provide Cornell with a copy of his or her tax account information if selected for verification since these tax authorities do not charge a fee to obtain this information.
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.
Individuals Granted a Filing Extension by the IRS
- 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 2015 (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 if the individual requested an additional extension of the filing time for tax year 2015;
- 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, 2016;
- a copy of IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2015, 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 2015.
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 2017-18:
- 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.
A student who is unable to obtain the documentation listed above must contact the financial aid office.
Statement of Educational Purpose
This statement will need to be submitted to our office by mail or in person, as we are required to collect the original.