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Income Tax Requirements for Verification

1)      IRS Data Retrieval – The fastest, easiest way to document your tax data is to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA Web site.  In a few simple steps, you may be able to link to the IRS Web site and securely transfer student and parent tax return information directly into your FAFSA.

  • You may transfer your tax data during your initial FAFSA completion or afterward using the FAFSA Correction process.
     
  • The Federal Processing Center will process your original/corrected FAFSA and send the results to Hope College.  As long as you did not change the data transferred from the IRS, your corrected FAFSA will be considered documentation of income and tax data.  Remember, the IRS data must be retrieved for both the student and parents.
This video will show you how to use the
IRS Data Retrieval Tool to make a correction to your FAFSA.
**(University of California at Santa Barbara has provided access to this video.
It contains UCBS references that are not relevant to or representative of Hope College.
)

2)      Tax Return Transcript – Under certain conditions, students/parents are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and must obtain a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.  If you meet any of these conditions, you will not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool:

  • When an applicant or parent filed an amended tax return.
  • When the parents of a dependent applicant filed separate tax returns.
  • When a married, independent applicant and spouse filed separate tax returns.
  • When the dependent student’s legal parents are unmarried and living together.
  • When an applicant or parents had a change in marital status after the end of the IRS tax year.
  • When an applicant or parent is unable to successfully log into the IRS Web site to retrieve their data.

If you are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool you must obtain a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS and submit it to the Hope College Office of Financial Aid.  Tax filers can request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS online, over the phone or through the mail, all free of charge.  Note that tax filers can expect to receive the Transcript within 5 to 30 days.

How to Obtain a Free Tax Return Transcript from the IRS
Go to the IRS web site at www.IRS.gov and select “Order a Return or Account Transcript” under the Tools section.  Be sure to request a Tax Return transcript (do not request a Tax Account transcript).