IMHO the IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix for Verification is one of the most useful tools a financial aid office can have. It breaks down each of the different types of tax return transcripts and correlates each of the lines on the tax transcript to the corresponding line on the FAFSA / ISIR. It even does a great job of matching up wording that may be different than what is used on the FAFSA, so you know exactly which line to use when verifying 2016 income.

FSA noted that for some items the transcript may display two or three values for an item. If only one value is displayed on the transcript, that value must be used for verification.  If more than one value is displayed on the transcript, the value associated with the item name that includes the words “Per Computer” must be used for verification.  The “Per Computer” line should be used for verification even if it is different than what was reported by the tax filer. In addition, a line may appear on some IRS Tax Return Transcripts that says “RECOMPUTED <tax return item name> PER COMPUTER”.  The amount on this line should be ignored for purposes of verification. The last three columns show the corresponding line item numbers from the three 2016 IRS tax returns (IRS Form 1040, IRS Form 1040A, and IRS Form 1040EZ).

FSA also noted that under provisions of the Higher Education Act (HEA), taxes and credits related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are not to be included in the amount of U.S. Taxes Paid that are used in the calculation of a student’s expected family contribution (EFC).

Grab your copy of the 2018-2019 FAFSA Verification IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix here and while you’re at it, check out Dear Colleague Letter GEN 17-05 for a rundown of the required verification items for V1, V4 and V5 verification this year

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