Verification 2015-2016

Report
Verification
2015-2016
Betty Yeatman
Mississippi State University
What is Verification?

The U.S. Department of Education defines
verification as the process a school
follows to check the accuracy of
information reported by a student on the
Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Verification requirements are established
by the Department of Education and are
subject to change annually.
Who Do You Verify?

Applications selected for verification by
the Central Processing System, unless one
of the verification exclusions applies.

Applications selected for verification by
the School.
Student Verification Exclusions



Student dies during the award year
Not a Title IV aid recipient
Eligible only for Unsubsidized aid programs
(TEACH, Unsub Stafford, PLUS)


Verified by another school for same award
year – Need statement from other institution
If selected for verification after all
disbursements were made and student is no
longer enrolled at your school.
Parent and Spouse
Verification Exclusions
Parent:
 Both are mentally incapacitated
 Resides outside of the U.S. and cannot be reached by
normal means of communication
 Cannot be reached because contact information is
unknown and cannot be obtained.
Spouse:
 Is deceased.
 Is mentally incapacitated
 Resides outside of the U.S. and cannot be reached by
normal means of communication
 Cannot be reached because contact information is
unknown and cannot be obtained.
2015-2016 Verification
Federal Register notice published June 25,
2014
http://ifap.ed.gov/fregisters/FR062514.html
 Dear Colleague Letter (GEN-14-11)
published June 30, 2014
http://ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/attachments/GEN1
411.pdf
 The ISIR Guide, 2015-2016 published
October 2014
http://ifap.ed.gov/isirguide/attachments/1516ISI
RGuide.pdf

2015-2016 Verification
Retained the same items subject to
verification in 2014-2015
 Retained all the same Verification Tracking
Groups V1,V3,V4,V5 & V6
 Will not provide verification worksheets
for 2015-2016, however will provide
suggested text for verification items on
IFAP as in the past

◦ Not required to use text except for the
“Statement of Educational Purpose” language
Additional Guidance

IRS Form W-2 - If required, replacement copy
of IRS W-2 should be requested from the
employer who issued the original W-2

V6 Group - Institutions should use reasonable
judgment when evaluating the validity of the
income information provided in Verification
Tracking Group V6. Support may include: public
assistance, veteran’s benefits, or other income
not on the FAFSA, shared-living arrangements,
instances of poverty or homelessness; or
documentation of low-living costs.
Additional Guidance
Tax Filers:
 All applicants placed in Verification Tracking
Group V6 must provide a copy of their IRS
Form W-2 for each source of employment for
tax year 2014
Nontax Filers:
 If you question a claim that a student or
parent did not file a 2014 IRS income tax
return, the school must require a “Verification
of Non-filing Letter” from the IRS. It must be
dated on or after June 15, 2015.
◦ Note: This does not address whether or not the
tax filer was required to have filed a tax return.
Additional Guidance

Dependency Status and Number of
Household Members - needs to be
coordinated with the dependency questions
on the FAFSA and any necessary corrections
should be reported to the CPS.

FAFSA Parental Information for
unmarried parents of a dependent student
must include both of the student’s “legal”
parents if the parents live together,
regardless of gender of parents (Dear
Colleague Letter GEN-13-12)
Additional Guidance

The Defense of Marriage Act – As
noted in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-1325, a student or parent is considered
married if the student or parent was
legally married in any domestic or foreign
jurisdiction that recognizes the
relationship as a valid marriage, regardless
of gender.
Additional Guidance

High School Completion Status –
Applicants in Groups V4 and V5 must
provide documentation verifying their
reported high school completion status.

Test transcripts for GED, HiSET, TASC, or
other State-authorized exam, are acceptable
documentation only if:
◦ They are considered by the State to meet
requirements of high school equivalency, or
◦ The official test transcript includes language that
the final score is a passing score.
Verification Requirements
Verification Tracking Group
Information
Required to be
Verified
V1
Standard Group
Household size
V5
Aggregate Group
V6
Household
Resources Group
X
X
X
Number in
college
X
X
X
Child support
paid*
X
X
X
X
Supplemental
Nutrition
Assistance
Program*
X
X
X
X
High school
completion
X
X
Identity/educati
onal purpose
X
X
Income/tax
data**
Other untaxed
income
V2
Reserved for FSA
Use Only
V3
Child Support
Group
X
V4
Custom Group
N/A
X
X
X
X
*Information must be verified only if reported on the FAFSA.
**Income tax data will only be required for tax filers; verification of income earned from work will only be required for non-tax filers.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
When using FAFSA on the Web, student and parents who indicate they
filed federal income tax returns may be directed to the IRS Data Retrieval
Tool to populate the FAFSA fields with tax data directly from the IRS.
The ISR Date Retrieval Tool will not be available if the:
◦ The person did not indicate on the FAFSA that the tax return has been
completed
◦ The marriage date is January 2015 or later
◦ First three digits of the Social Security Number are 666
◦ The tax return was amended
◦ The person filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
◦ The person is married and filed the tax return either as head of household
or married but filing a separate return
◦ Neither married parent entered a valid SSN
◦ A non-married parent or both married parents entered all zeroes for SSN
IRS Tax Transcripts
Requesting Tax Transcripts
There are multiple ways tax filers can request a
tax transcript, most of which do not involve
payment of a fee to the IRS:
◦
◦
◦
◦
Using Get Transcript online at www.irs.gov/transcript
By phone at 1-800-909-9946
Using the IRS2Go Mobile App on a mobile device
By mail using IRS From 4506T-EZ
General Documentation
Requirements
Income Earned from Work for non-tax filers
– Required for V1,V5,V6


Signed statement:
◦ Indicating sources and amounts of income earned from
work in 2014
◦ Certifying the applicant has not filed and is not required
to file taxes for 2014
Copy of a W-2 Form for each source of employment
income received in 2014
If the school believes information provided is inaccurate, the applicant must
provide to the school a “Verification of Non-Filing” from the IRS.
If the applicant is unable to obtain the W-2, the school may accept a signed
statement listing the source and amount of income earned from work, and
the reason the W-2 Form is not available.
General Documentation
Requirements

Household Size – Required for V1,V5,V6
◦ Signed statement from the applicant (and one parent, if the
applicant is dependent) listing the name and age of each
household member and the relationship to the applicant.
Not required when:
 Dependent student lists 2, and the parent is single, divorced,
separated or widowed.
 Dependent student lists 3, and the parents are married or
unmarried and living together.
 Independent student lists 1, and the student is single, divorced,
separated or widowed.
 Independent student lists 2, and the student is married.
A dependent student's legal parents who live together, regardless of
marital status or gender, are required to provide information on the
FAFSA and for verification.
General Documentation
Requirements
Number in College– Required for V1,V5,V6


Signed statement from the applicant (and one parent, if
the applicant is dependent) listing the name and age of
each household member attending a Title IV-eligible
school at least half time during the 2015-2016 award
year, and the name(s) of the applicable school(s).
Not required when the number in college is 1.
If the school believes information from the FAFSA or the signed
statement is inaccurate, it must obtain a statement from each
listed school unless the household member is not yet registered
or will attend the applicant’s school.
General Documentation
Requirements
Child Support Paid – Required for
V1,V3,V4,V5,V6

Signed statement from the applicant or parent listing:
◦ Name of the individual who paid the support
◦ Name of the child support recipient
◦ Name of the child/children for whom support was paid
◦ Amount of support paid during the calendar year
Not required if child support paid is not reported on the FAFSA. If the school
believes information provided on the signed statement is inaccurate, it must
obtain documentation such as a copy of a separation agreement/divorce
decree showing the amount to be paid, a statement from the child support
recipient showing the amount paid, or copies of canceled checks, money
order receipts or electronic payment records.
General Documentation
Requirements
SNAP – Required for V1,V4,V5,V6

Signed statement from the applicant (or parent, if the
applicant is dependent) certifying that the applicant or
another household member received SNAP-Food Stamps
in calendar year 2013 and/or 2014.
Not required if receipt of SNAP-Food Stamp benefits is not reported on the
FAFSA. If the school believes information provided on the signed statement is
inaccurate, the applicant must provide the school with documentation from
the applicable Food Stamp issuing agency.
General Documentation
Requirements
High School Completion Status – Required
for V4,V5
Documentation of either a:
 High School Diploma
 Recognized equivalent:
◦ GED or transcript
◦ State certificate recognized as an equivalent to a diploma.
◦ Academic transcript showing successful completion of at least a
two-year program fully acceptable toward a bachelor’s degree.
◦ Documentation that the student excelled in high school, if the
student did not complete high school and enrolls in at least an
associate degree program.

Home school credential
General Documentation
Requirements
Identity Statement of Educational Purpose
– Required for V4,V5
An applicant must provide the following in person and the
school must maintain a copy of the ID provided by the
applicant, including the following information:
 Government-issued photo ID such as passport or DL
 Signed statement of educational purpose for the 20152016 award year – You must use the exact language given
by the Dept of ED
A student unable to appear in person at your school must go to a notary
public and sign the statement of education purpose. Then submit to the
school the notarized statement along with a copy of the same ID confirmed
by the notary.
General Documentation
Requirements
Other Untaxed Income – Required for V6

Signed statement from the applicant and one parent, if
dependent, listing the sources of other untaxed income
on the 2015-2016 FAFSA:
◦ Payments to tax-deferred pension and savings plans
◦ Child Support Received
◦ Housing, food and other living allowances paid to member of the
military, clergy and others
◦ Veterans’ non-education benefits
◦ Other untaxed income
◦ Money received or paid on the student’s behalf

Copy of a W-2 Form for each source of employment
income received in 2014
If the school believes information provided is inaccurate, the applicant must provide to the school
a “Verification of Non-Filing” from the IRS.
If the applicant is unable to obtain the W-2, the school may accept a signed statement listing the
source and amount of income earned from work, and the reason the W-2 Form is not available.
Special Tax Situations

Filing Extensions
◦ IRS Form 4868
◦ W-2 Form or, if self-employed, a signed statement
with amount of AGI & Taxes Paid

Filers of joint returns no longer
married
◦ W-2 Form(s)

Non-Tax Filers
◦ W-2 Form
◦ Signed statement with sources & amounts of
income earned from work, certifying that the
person has not filed and is not required to file a
tax return
Special Tax Situations

Filers of non-U.S. tax returns
◦ Copy of tax return signed by one of the filers
on the return

Filers of amended returns
◦ Signed copy of IRS From 1040X
◦ Signed copy of the original tax return that
was filed or tax return transcript
Special Tax Situations

Victims of Identity Theft
◦ Victims must call the IRS’s Identity Protection
Specialized Unit (IPSU) at 800-908-4490.
◦ IRS will mail her a TRDBV (Transcript
DataBase View) to use for verification

Using a Tax Return
◦ When the DRT and return transcript are not
available
Completing the Process
If you find the FAFSA Information is accurate,
you are free to proceed with processing
financial aid for the student. If the information
is incorrect of inconsistent, however, you are
required to correct this data and submit the
application to the CPS for reprocessing.
Common Documentation Errors
Failing to review tax documentation for students
not selected for verification. Documentation
must be reviewed for conflicting information,
even if the student is not selected for verification.
 Failing to obtain tax documents for both parents
of a dependent student when both parents are
on the FAFSA and file separate tax returns.
 Failing to obtain tax document of the spouse of
an independent student
 Accepting income documentation from a noncustodial parent. You must determine which
parent’s information should be on the FAFSA.

Questions ?

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