Monday, September 10, 2012

Plans for the 2013-14 Verification

I've said many times that the FA rules from year to year are very much like a new car: each year a new model that comes out and sometimes resembles the previous model, but sometimes is very different. It seems there are plans in the works for the new Verification procedures for next year. Originally, the plan was for the 2012-13 year to be one that had a simplified Verification procedure in which if one item had to be verified, then you only had to verify that one item (and not all the items). That didn't exactly happen. But with the IRS Data Retrieval System, a sharp decrease of verifications have occurred, and if the IRS Data Retrieval System had been used correctly, then only a few things would have to be verified.

So, progress has been made. The goal then was to make 2013-14 the year which would make individual items only be verified. However, it doesn't look quite like that will happen again. The Dept of Ed is transitioning into a new kind of Verification, and 2013-14 will be the hybrid year. As of right now, FAFSAs that come back to be verified will fit into one of five verification categories (V1-V5), with each one carrying a certain amount of items that would have to be verified. It could only be one item (V2 is Food Stamps, V3 is Child Support Paid), and it could be many items (V1 is Household Size, # in College, Child Support Paid, Food Stamps (SNAP), Income Earned from Work, AGI, Tax Paid, Untaxed Individual Retirement Account Distributions, Untaxed Pensions, Education Credits, IRA Deductions, and Tax-Exempt Interest). As of right now, it looks like the Verification requirements could be different in some cases for tax filers and non filers.

On top of the changes in Verification, it appears as though the FAFSA could have new questions like High School Completion Status and Statement of Educational Purpose/Identity. We have a lot of time before the new FAFSA takes over next July, and even before it becomes available in early 2013. Hopefully there will be more available before then.

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