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2017 - 2018 Verification

*Notice: Working on completing your FAFSA? The IRS DRT (Data Retrieval Tool) is currently unavailable. The DRT was used to transfer all relevant tax data straight from the IRS to your FAFSA. However, the DRT is currently unavailable and will likely remain down until the start of the next FAFSA season (October 2017). You can still complete your FAFSA but you will need to enter your 2015 tax information manually from your tax transcripts (available here) or your tax return.

Verification FAQs


Explanation of Verification

The University of Texas at San Antonio is federally obligated to verify all financial aid applicants that have been selected by the U.S. Department of Education for a process called verification. If your application is selected for verification it will be indicated on your Student Aid Report (SAR) when you submit your FAFSA. Students may also check their ASAP accounts to view a list of the required documents necessary to complete the process. UTSA is required to complete this process prior to certifying student loans or disbursing financial aid funds to a student's account. Failure to complete the verification process may result in the cancellation of student financial aid.

**Important changes for 2017-2018 Verification**

Currently, financial aid applicants report the prior year’s income and tax information on their FAFSA. Example: on the 2016-2017 FAFSA the 2015 tax information was reported. However, beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, applicants will now report what is referred to as “prior-prior year” income information. Example: the 2017-2018 FAFSA will also use 2015 tax information, and the 2018-2019 FAFSA will use 2016 information. Using income information from two years prior allows students and parents to submit their FAFSA earlier.

Verification Submission Guidelines

If your application is selected, you are required to submit several official documents as indicated below. Verification Forms are completed online through a secure, third-party site called Dynamic Forms. You may submit verification documents to us via US mail, drop box or in person at the One Stop Enrollment Center. Please use our Verification Frequently Asked Questions below for additional information and instructions on submitting a verification packet.

Required Documents

You may use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import your tax information from the IRS to your FAFSA in lieu of submitting tax forms. Simply log onto your FAFSA and submit an update using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. View our Verification FAQs below for a listing of who is and is not eligible to use this new tool.

Dependent Student Checklist

  • Dependent Verification Worksheet—completed online. Instructions and a link to the online form will be posted in your student ASAP account.*
  • AND
  • Use the IRS DRT on the FAFSA on the web
  • OR
  • Submit a copy of the student and parent IRS Tax Return or Tax Transcript

Independent Student Checklist

  • Independent Verification Worksheet
  • AND
  • Use the IRS DRT on the FAFSA on the web in lieu of submitting tax returns for student (and spouse)*
  • OR
  • Submit a copy of the student (and spouse, if applicable) IRS Tax Return or Tax Transcript.

*If you or your parents are unable to complete the verification form online, please contact the One Stop Enrollment Center for assistance.

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Verification FAQs

Am I required to respond to a Verification request?

Yes. The U.S. Department of Education requires that you comply with our requests for official documents. Failure to submit all the requested information within the designated time frame may result in the cancellation of your student financial aid. UTSA is required to complete Verification prior to certifying student loans and disbursing federal aid. Furthermore, failure to turn in necessary documentation could result in you being dropped for non-payment.

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Why do I need to give you this information? Isn't it on the FAFSA?

The University of Texas at San Antonio is federally obligated to verify all financial aid applicants that have been selected by the U.S. Department of Education for a process called verification. The purpose of verification is to allow UTSA to verify the information you reported on your FAFSA to ensure its accuracy. If any information needs to be updated or corrected, UTSA can and will make those corrections and submit them to the Department of Education for processing on your behalf. Everyone who signs the FAFSA agrees to provide information in the event you are selected to check the accuracy of your completed FAFSA.

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How do I send you the information?

UTSA Verification Forms are electronic and can be completed and signed all online. As you complete the online form, you will be instructed to upload copies of all necessary documents prior to submitting the form. In special cases where you are unable to submit your documents online, items can be submitted in person at the One Stop counter, via U.S. mail, or at our drop box location. Documentation submitted via fax or e-mail will not be accepted and the documents will have to be resubmitted in the proper fashion. Faxed verification documents will be shredded for security purposes. In order to ensure that all information is legible, please do not take pictures of documents and submit the printed image (these often result in blurry and unreadable forms that must be resubmitted).

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Will all my tax information and documents be kept confidential?

Yes, all your tax returns and financial information are kept confidential. If your parent is listed as the legal parent on your FAFSA we can provide specific information regarding your verification or financial aid. We will not release other student account information unless you (the student) have provided us with a Student Authorization to Release Education Records Form. This form allows you to designate who you want to have access to your information.

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What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) and how do I use it?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is currently unavailable and will likely remain down until the start of the next FAFSA season (October 2017). You can still complete your FAFSA but you will need to enter your 2015 tax information manually from either your tax transcripts (available here) or your tax return.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) allows students and parents to access IRS tax return information and transfer it directly into their FAFSA. You are ineligible to use the DRT if you (or your parents) are married but filed separately or if your marital status has changed as of January 1. We highly recommend using this tool if you are eligible for several reasons:

  • It's the easiest way to provide tax data
  • It's the best way to ensure your FAFSA has accurate tax information
  • You won't need to provide a copy of your or your parents' Tax Return or Tax Transcript if selected for verification

Please note that the IRS DRT may not be available for immediate use after filing your federal taxes. If you filed your taxes electronically, it could take up to 2-3 weeks for your tax information to become available on the DRT. If you filed a paper tax return, please allow 6-8 weeks to use the DRT.

IRS DRT Transfer Graphic

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How do I request a copy of my Tax Return, IRS Tax Transcript or Verification of Non-filing?

IRS Tax Returns and IRS Tax Transcripts can be requested one of several ways:

  • Online through http://www.irs.gov. Under the “Tools” section, select “Get a Tax Transcript”
  • By mailing in Form 4506-T or 4506T-EZ to the IRS. For a Verification of Non-filing you must use Form 4506-T and check box 7.
  • By calling 1-800-908-9946
  • In person at your local IRS office. Generally you will need to make an appointment to go in person.

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What if I amended my taxes, can I still use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?

No, if you amended your taxes, you cannot use the IRS DRT. You must submit a signed copy of your Tax Return or IRS Tax Transcript AND a signed copy of your 1040X Amended tax return.

UTSA does require the student and/or parent to submit their official signed Tax Return or IRS Tax Transcript once they have filed. Any differences between what was original reported and the final tax information may result in changes to your financial aid awards.

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Once I've submitted all my verification documents, taxes, I'm done, right?

If necessary we may request additional information and/or documentation to resolve any discrepancies that arise during the processing of your paperwork. Please check your preferred email as indicated on ASAP and your ASAP account regularly for any updates concerning the review and processing of your file. In the event we must contact you, please respond to these requests as quickly as possible as failure to do so will only further delay disbursement of your financial aid.


What if my parents or I have applied for an extension to file our tax return?

If you and/or your parents have requested an extension to file, you must submit the following to continue with you verification:

  • 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;
  • 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. 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 tax year 2015.

UTSA does require the student and/or parent to submit their official IRS Tax Transcript once they have filed. Any differences between what was original reported and the final tax information may result in changes to your financial aid awards.

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What if I (or my parents or spouse) was a victim or tax-related identity theft?

In order complete verification you must submit the following items:

  • A Tax Return Database View (TRDBV) transcript obtained from the IRS, or any other IRS tax transcript(s) that includes all of the income and tax information required to be verified; and
  • A statement signed and dated by the tax filer indicating that he or she was a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS is aware of the tax-related identity theft.

TRDBV Transcripts are obtained by contacting the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit (1-800-908-4490)

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What if I (or my parents or spouse) filed a non-IRS tax return (U.S. territory or foreign return)?

You must submit a transcript that was obtained at no cost and that lists the 2015 tax account information of the tax filer form the relevant tax authority of a U.S. territory (Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands) or commonwealth (Puerto Rico and Northern Mariana Islands).

If there is a fee to obtain a transcript for a filer of a foreign tax return, you can submit the following:

  • A signed copy of the original 2015 income tax return AND
  • Documentation showing that the tax authority charges a fee to obtain a transcript

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What if I wasn’t required to file a federal tax return?

If you or your parents were not required to and did not file a tax return, you may be required to submit an IRS Verification of Non-filing letter. You must also report all sources of income earned during the specified tax year and submit copies of all W2 forms.

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How do I know who to include in the Household on my verification form?

People in your house hold must live with you between July 1 of the current year and June 30 of the following year.

Dependent Students: List the people that your parents will support. Include yourself, your parents, and your parents/stepparents' dependent children (if your parents provide more than half support, or if they would be required to give parental information when applying for federal student aid).

Independent Students: List the people that you (and your spouse) will support. Include yourself, your spouse, your children, and other people if they live with you (and you provide more than half of their support and will continue to provide half their support). 

Include other people as part of your household only if:
They lived with your parents and received more than half their support from your parents at the time you completed your FAFSA, and they will continue to receive more than half of their support from you and/or your spouse during the academic year.

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Do I include everyone in my household who attends college?

Write in the name of the college for any family member who will be attending college at least half-time between July 1 of this year and June 30 of next year and will be enrolled in a degree or certificate program.

Dependent students:  If your parent(s) happens to be attending a college or university, you do not include them in your number in college.

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My parents are divorced. Am I required to submit my step-parent's information for the verification? What if they don't support me financially?

Yes, you must include your step-parent's information on the verification forms and submit signed copies of their Tax Return or IRS Tax Transcript. The U.S. Department of Education requires that you submit all requested information for the parent(s) with whom you live and also anyone married to the parent with whom you live.

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What if my parents don't support me?

If you are a dependent student, your parents must submit any and all financial information requested by UTSA, regardless of whether or not they support you or intend to continue supporting you. If you have an unusual circumstance surrounding your parental support, please email us at onestop@utsa.edu.

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Questions?

If you have any further questions please contact the One Stop Enrollment Center at (210) 458-8000 or toll-free at (800) 669-0919.  Or if you prefer, email us at onestop@utsa.edu from your preferred email account as indicated on ASAP.