Posted Date: July 20, 2012
Jeff Baker, Director, Policy Liaison and Implementation, Federal Student Aid
Subject: Acceptable Documentation for Verification of 2011 IRS Information
On April 16, 2012, we published Dear Colleague Letter GEN-12-07 that provided a temporary documentation alternative until July 15, 2012, for those Title IV applicants who are required to verify information from their 2011 IRS tax returns. This announcement is a reminder that, under the guidance provided in GEN-12-07, accepting paper copies of 2011 IRS tax returns as an alternative terminated as of last Sunday, July 15, 2012. Therefore, beginning July 16, 2012, applicants who under our verification requirements must provide documentation of tax return information must do so by either using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is part of FAFSA on the Web or by submitting to their school an IRS Tax Return Transcript obtained from the IRS. Note that the July 15 date applies to the receipt of the copy of the tax return and not to when verification must be completed.
We understand that there may still be a limited number of instances where tax filers may be unable to use either the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or the IRS Tax Return Transcript request process. One of those limited instances is when the tax filer has been the victim of identity theft with regard to their IRS records. We are currently in the process of evaluating alternatives for such tax filers and others whose only way of documenting IRS information is through the use of a paper copy of the tax return. We expect to be able to provide further guidance on this issue within the next few weeks.
We thank schools for their cooperation as we continue to ensure the integrity of the Title IV student aid process.