Verification Frequently Asked Questions
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- How long does verification take?
- After all of your required documents are submitted to KHEAA Verify, the verification process will take approximately 2 weeks. You can track your progress every step of the way by signing into Zip Access at www.kheaa.com. Be sure to submit missing or additional information quickly to avoid processing delays. Monitor KHEAA's Zip Access, WKU Topper Mail, and Top Net (see Financial Aid Eligibility) for updates.
- How will I know if KHEAA Verify has received the documents I submitted?
- Please allow 2 business days for your documents to be acknowledged on KHEAA's Zip Access. You can track your progress every step of the way by signing into Zip Access at www.kheaa.com. The screen will indicate which items have been received and which are still needed. Be sure to submit missing or additional information quickly to avoid processing delays.
- Will I be awarded as soon as Top Net indicates that verification is complete?
- No, verification and awarding are two different processes. Once your FAFSA verification is complete, if you have no other outstanding requirements on Top Net (see Financial Aid Eligibility), you will be awarded a financial aid offer in the next awards cycle, which may take a week or two. The award notice will be sent to the student's Topper Mail account and posted on Top Net (see Award for Aid Year). If the student has not attended ATP, the award notice will be sent to the email listed on the FAFSA.
- How do I submit federal income tax information?
- There are two options for submitting federal income tax information for Verification Group 1 or Group 5:
Option 1: Use the online FAFSA tool called "IRS Data Retrieval." For assistance, call 800-433-3243.
- Go to www.fafsa.gov and click <Start Here>, log in, choose the link "make FAFSA corrections," and enter your password.
- Click on the financial information tab or page through to the financial information section.
- Look for the question at the top of the page that says, "For 2012, have you (or has your parent, if dependent) completed the IRS income tax return or another tax return?"
- Change the answer from Will File to Already Completed.
- A box will open up that will allow you to retrieve your tax data straight from the IRS.
- If you can check "none of the above" you will be asked for either your or your parent's (if dependent) PIN number and will then be redirected to the IRS website. Follow their prompts and the FAFSA will populate automatically with your tax data.
- You will then be taken to the signature page and asked for your PIN. Note for Dependent students - do not hit submit until after you have completed both the parent and student sections, if required.
- Resubmit your FAFSA. After CPS updates your information, WKU will load in your revised FAFSA in about two weeks.
Option 2: Obtain a free copy of the "IRS Tax Return Transcript" and submit it to KHEAA Verify.
The Tax Return Transcript must be requested directly from the IRS* in one of five ways:
- Order by phone at 800-908-9946
- Order online at www.irs.gov
- Use the "IRS2Go" free mobile app
- Submit a paper request using IRS Form 4506T-EZ
- Visit a local IRS office
*Neither the tax filer nor tax preparer will have a copy of the IRS Tax Return Transcript.
It must be ordered directly from the IRS.
- What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA?
- The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents who filed a federal income tax return to electronically transfer the tax return data directly onto the FAFSA. If the student and parent filed an individual federal income tax return, be sure to use the data retrieval for both tax returns. Contact a FAFSA representative at 800-433-3243 with questions about using this online tool.
- What if the IRS Data Retreival tool is unsuccessful?
- Students can contact a FAFSA representative at 800-433-3243 for assistance with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Electronic tax filers should allow 2-3 weeks for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to become available on the FAFSA. Paper filers should allow up to 8 weeks for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to become available. If a student or parent is unable to successfully transfer the tax data onto the FAFSA, an IRS Tax Return Transcript must be submitted instead.
- Can I submit a copy of my federal 1040 tax return instead of using the IRS Data Retreival Tool or submitting an IRS Tax Return Transcript?
- No, Forms 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ tax returns cannot be accepted for FAFSA verification unless the student and/or parent filed an amended tax return. If an amendment (1040X) has been filed, submit a signed copy of the original 1040 tax return and a signed copy of 1040X to KHEAA Verify. All other federal tax filers must use IRS Data Retrieval or submit the free IRS Tax Return Transcript to KHEAA Verify.
- How can I determine if the student and/or parent are required to file a federal tax return?
- A: Refer to pages 4-9 of the IRS guidelines for filing a federal 1040 by clicking here www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1040gi.pdf. Please contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 with questions.
- What if the student and/or parent are not required to file a federal tax return?
- All students chosen for Verification Group 1 or Group 5 must submit the verification worksheet, regardless of tax filing status.Students and/or parents who worked, but who are not required to file taxes due to low wages, must submit a copy of their federal W-2 forms. Students and/or parents who did not work or file a federal income tax return must submit a "No or Low Income Form," which is available at www.kheaa.com. Please contact KHEAA Verify at 855-272-8771 with questions.
- What if the student and/or parent filed a federal tax extension?
- Please contact KHEAA Verify at 855-272-8771 for assistance. Federal verification guidelines require students who are selected for Verification Group 1 or Group 5, and parents of dependent students, to submit federal tax information as part of the verification process. If the student and/or parent are required to file taxes but have filed an extension, the verification process may be delayed by several months. Students are encouraged to make alternate payment arrangements with the WKU Billings Office until federal financial aid can be processed, or risk being dropped for non-payment of their university bill.
- What if the student and/or parent filed an amended tax return?
- If an amendment (1040X) has been filed, submit a signed copy of the original1040 tax return and a signed copy of the 1040X to KHEAA Verify. When a federal tax return has been amended, the IRS Data Retrieval or the IRS Tax Return Transcript is not required from that tax filer.
- What if the student's biological parents are not married?
- If the biological parent on the FAFSA is single, divorced, separated, or widowed, that parent is required to submit information and tax data for verification. If the biological parent on the FAFSA is remarried at the time of verification, stepparent information and tax data must also be submitted, per federal guidelines, despite how recently the marriage may have taken place.
- What if the student recently got married?
- Information and tax data for the student and spouse must be submitted to KHEAA Verify, even if they did not file a joint tax return. Please contact KHEAA Verify at 855-272-8771 for a list of documents to submit.
- What if the parents on the FAFSA filed a joint tax return, but are now separated or divorced?
- Additional documentation will be required, so KHEAA Verify can separate the parental income and make the necessary FAFSA adjustments. Please contact KHEAA Verify at 855-272-8771 for a list of documents to submit.
- Do I still have to include my parents in the verification process if I do not live with them?
- Federal guidelines establish which students are considered dependent on their parents and which are considered independent. Please contact KHEAA Verify at 855-272-8771 and explain your circumstances, so a representative can guide you through the proper verification steps. In general, unmarried students under the age of 24, whose biological parent(s) are not deceased or incarcerated, will be required to submit parent/stepparent information if selected for FAFSA verification.