Do You Need a Non-Filer Statement for Financial Aid?
If you're currently in the college financial aid process, you may be selected for Verification, a process that requires you to submit tax documentation (and potentially other paperwork) to college financial aid offices. If you didn't file taxes, you may need to submit documentation confirming that you have no taxes on file with the IRS. We've outlined here the key information needed to get you through the process seamlessly.
- To verify your status as a non-tax-filer, you need to secure a Verification of Non-Filing (VNF) Letter from the IRS if you are an independent student or a parent of a dependent student. Dependent students do not need to verify their non-filer status.
- Your VNF does not validate whether or not you were required to file taxes, but rather that you do not have a tax return on file with the IRS (as of the date you made the request).
You have two options to secure a VNF:
- Use the Get Transcript tool on irs.gov: Click Get Your Tax Record and then select the blue Get Transcript Online button.
- To use this option, you must have a credit card, mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, or car loan.
- Use IRS Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return). Complete the form and mail or fax it to the IRS.
- Make sure to include your Social Security number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on the form.
- The IRS will send the requested documentation within 10 business days of the receipt of Form 4506-T.
- If you cannot secure a Verification of Non-Filing Letter, you may submit any alternative documentation from the IRS that indicates non-filing status if that documentation includes the tax year, your name, and your SSN or ITIN.
- If you are not able to obtain any documentation from the IRS verifying your non-filer status, you may submit a signed statement verifying that you were not required to file taxes. The statement must assert that you attempted but were unable to get the VNF and it must also confirm that you have not filed and are not required to file a tax return for the relevant year, and it must list the sources and amounts of income earned from work.
- In response to a 4506-T, the IRS may send a version of Form 13873 if the 4506T was incomplete or inaccurate. Per the Department of Education, "any version of IRS Form 13873 that clearly states that the form is provided to the individual as verification of nonfiling or that states that the IRS has no record of a tax return is acceptable documentation of nonfiling."
Once you have obtained your proper tax documentation, submit it immediately to the college financial aid office(s) waiting for your paperwork. If you have any questions about your requirements, contact the financial aid office directly. For IRS-specific questions, use their toll-free helpline: (844) 545-5640. An IRS representative try to resolve your issue or schedule you an appointment at a local IRS Tax Assistance Center.