Signed copy of 2015 tax form(s) now acceptable for 2016-2017 and/or 2017-2018 verification

Apr. 27, 2017


To ease the burden of financial aid verification on families and schools, the U.S. Department of Education is providing relief for the documentation requirement regarding federal tax information. This relief is primarily based on the unavailability of the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) embedded in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Due to security concerns of the DRT and sensitive IRS data, the DRT is no longer an option for students/parents to automatically include their income/tax data when completing the FAFSA. As a result, the Department of Education released guidance indicating schools may now accept signed copies of the 2015 tax forms (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) for the verification process. 

This relief applies to students selected for verification and parents of dependent students selected for verification. Tax return transcripts (2015), available from,are also still acceptable forms of tax documentation.