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DYK- The U.S. Department of Education (ED) made changes to 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 verification requirements?

June 28, 2017
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In Dear Colleague Letter GEN-17-04 dated April 24, 2017, ED announced changes as a result of the suspension of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  ED is providing the following immediate flexibilities as options if a school chooses to use them as part of its verification procedures for both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 award years.

  1. IRS Tax Return Filers – A signed paper copy of the 2015 IRS tax return that was used by the tax filer for submission to the IRS is acceptable documentation to verify ISIR tax return information.
  2. Verification of Nonfiling – Documentation obtained from the IRS or other tax authorities are no longer required to verify that the student, the student’s spouse or the student’s parents did not file a 2015 tax return. However, as currently required, they must provide to the school-

    1. A signed statement certifying that the individual has not filed and is not required to file a 2015 income tax
      return. They must list the amounts and sources of any 2015 income earned from work; and
    2. A copy of IRS Form W-2, or an equivalent document, for each source of 2015 income earned from work.

FAME revised the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 Verification Worksheets available on FAME Connect to assist with these changes.  For both award years, the statements now include a signed paper copy of the 2015 IRS tax return.  For 2017-2018, the IRS documentation statement for verification of nonfiling has been removed.  These worksheets already include the necessary statement and space to list income earned from work for nonfilers as indicated above.  In addition, our financial aid software products latest releases include the changes for 2017-2018 verification.

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