Every year some students are selected for a process call verification after submitting their FAFSA or DREAM Act Application. Below you will find answers and video explanations to the most common questions students and families have regarding the verification process. 

What is the verification process?

Each year, the federal (FAFSA) or state (DREAM Act) application processor selects students, for verification. There are also some students who are selected for verification by UCLA even if they were not selected by the federal or state processor

When are students selected for verification?

For most students, verification selection and review is completed before aid is offered for the academic year. However, students can be selected for federal verification at any time during the academic year, if their financial aid application information changes. We will let you know immediately, if you are selected for verification mid-year. Should this occur, the verification process will need to be completed before we can disburse any additional aid to you for that academic year.

Do I need to submit documentation to UCLA if my Student Aid Report (SAR) says that I have been selected for verification?

No, please wait until UCLA has a chance to evaluate your application to determine what is needed to complete your verification process. We will provide you with the appropriate forms and request any additional documentation required.

How do I obtain my Tax Return Transcript?

Tax Return Transcript Request

A Tax Return Transcript is not the same as your 1040. It is an official copy of your tax return information that comes directly from the IRS.

There are three ways to order a free copy of your Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.

Online at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript

  1. Available on the IRS website at www.IRS.gov.
  2. Under the Tools section, select “Get a Tax Transcript”
  3. Click “Get Transcript Online.”
  4. Returning Users: Enter your Username and click “Log in” and proceed to Step 9.
  5. First Time Users:  click “Get Started” (You will need to confirm your identity, credit history information and have access to a mobile phone). Click “Yes” to all three to confirm. If you cannot confirm all three, you will need to request your Tax Return Transcript by phone or mail (see below for instruction).
  6. Enter your first name, last name, and email address. Click on “Send Email Confirmation Code” 
  7. Retrieve and enter confirmation code. Click on “Verify Email Confirmation Code.”
  8. Enter your identifying information and enter the address exactly as listed on your latest tax return filed or the most recent address registered with the U.S. Postal Service. Click “Continue.”
  9. If your information matches, select the reason for your request: “Higher Education/Student Aid.”
  10. Select Tax Return Transcript for 2015.
  11. Print, sign, include your UCLA ID number, and submit to our office.

By Phone at: (800) 908-9946

  1. Provide your Social Security Number
  2. Enter the number of the address used to file your most recent tax return, and Press “2”
  3. Enter the tax year “2015,” and Press 1. You will receive your transcript within 5-10 days.

By Mail using the IRS Form 4506-T: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript

  1. Print and complete lines 1-4
  2. Enter tax form number on line 6, and Select box 6a
  3. Include “12/31/2015” for the year or period requested
  4. Mail the form to the IRS. See page 2 of Form 4506-T for instructions. 

 

What is a W-2 Form, how do I obtain mine?

A W-2 Form is an official tax document that includes the summary of your entire wage and salary information for a given calendar year (January 1 through December 31).  Employers are required to provide W-2 Forms to their employees by the end of January each year. You can obtain a copy of your W-2 Form for a prior year directly from your employer(s).  If you worked at UCLA or within the UC system you should be able to view and print your W-2 Forms online at: https://atyourserviceonline.ucop.edu/ayso/.

How do I know if I am required to file taxes?

To determine if you are required to a file a Federal Tax Return, please review Publication 501 located on the IRS website at www.irs.gov. For additional questions you may contact a tax preparer or the IRS at (800) 829-1040. 

What if I did not file taxes?

Independent students and the parents of dependent students are required to verify theirnon-filing status for 2016 via IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter. You can obtain Verification of Non-Filing on line or by mail.

Online Request:

  1. Go to www.IRS.gov.
  2. Under the Tools section, select “Get a Tax Transcript”
  3. Click “Get Transcript Online” and follow instructions to register and request your Verification of Non-Filing Letter.

NOTE: You will need to provide a credit card number, an account number for your car loan, mortgage loan or equity line of credit account in order to register on-line. If you are unable to register, please submit your request by mail.

 Request by Mail:

  1. Print IRS Form 4506-T
  2. Check the box on Line 7.
  3. Include “12/31/2015” for the year or period requested.
  4. Use “Chart for all other transcripts” (on page 2) to find the address/fax where you need to submit your Form 4506-T.

NOTE: When requesting Verification of Non-Filing Letter from the IRS, please do not request that it be mailed to a third party (Financial Aid Office). Have the letter sent to you and submit it to our office upon receipt with your UCLA ID number listed on the form. You should also keep a copy of the letter for yourself as a backup copy. 

How can I request required documentation if I do not have a Social Security Number?

If you do not have a social security number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or an Employer Identification Number, you will not be able to obtain verification on non-filing from the IRS. In this case, please provide a signed and dated statement certifying that you do not have social security number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or an Employer Identification Number and listing the sources and amounts of earnings, other income and resources available for the tax year.

 

How long does it take for my verification to be reviewed?

Once you provide all requested documentation to our office, your file will be reviewed to ensure no documents are missing and then processed by a counselor. Typically, this process takes 2-4 weeks, but may take longer during our peak processing times of May-September.   

Submitting documentation to our office by the priority deadlines will ensure that your file is evaluated in time for you to receive financial aid for the term when you need it. 

Document Submission Priority Deadlines for 2018/2019: 

Summer: April 13, 2018 

Academic Year: June 15, 2018

 

What happens if I submit my verification form after the priority deadline?

We will do our best to process your documents as quickly as possible but, depending on the date you submit your documents, it may not be possible for us to complete the review before the start of the term. It may be necessary for you to pay your fees for the term on your own and be reimbursed once you are awarded. 

What if I filed a foreign tax return?

If you filed a foreign tax return, please provide a signed and translated copy of your or your parent’s Foreign Tax Return with currency figures converted to U.S. dollars.

 

 

What If I amended my tax return after I filed?

If you amended your tax return after filing, please provide:

  • A COPY OF YOUR TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPT
  • A SIGNED COPY OF THE 1040X FORM YOU SUBMITTED TO AMEND YOUR TAXES.

These videos explain how and why students are selected for verification, and provide step by step instructions on how to obtain a copy of your tax return transcript.   

Please note that even though the videos below refer to FAFSA, the verification process is very similar for FAFSA and DREAM Act application filers.