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(Application Processing) Subject: E-Mail Notifications to 2013-2014 Applicants Encouraging Updates to Tax Return Information

Posted Date:March 5, 2013

Author: Jennifer Douglas , Deputy Chief Customer Experience Officer, Federal Student Aid

Subject: E-Mail Notifications to 2013-2014 Applicants Encouraging Updates to Tax Return Information

In mid-March 2013, we will initiate an e-mail notification process to encourage applicants who provided estimated federal tax information on their 2013-2014 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to submit corrections after filing tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This correction submission will result in a new, more accurate Central Processing System (CPS) transaction which financial aid administrators (FAAs) can use to determine a student’s eligibility for aid.

Applicants and the parents of dependent applicants often provide estimated income information on the initial FAFSA in order to meet early school and/or state deadlines. The goal of the e-mail notification is to remind these applicants and parents that they need to provide accurate and final federal tax return information on their FAFSA.

The 2013-2014 notifications will be sent to applicants and parents of dependent applicants whose current CPS transaction indicates a “will file” tax return status for the student and/or parent.

In this announcement, we provide the following information regarding the e-mail notifications that will be sent beginning in mid-March 2013:

  • Notification Selection Criteria
  • Notification Distribution Schedule
  • Notification Text

Notification Selection Criteria

To identify students and parents who will be sent an e-mail notification, the CPS database will be queried to identify records where the last transaction meets any of the following conditions:

  • Dependent student with Parents’ Tax Return Completed status of 2 (Will File)
  • Dependent student with Student’s Tax Return Completed status of 2 (Will File)
  • Independent student with Student’s Tax Return Completed status of 2 (Will File)

Records which meet any of the above criteria will then be checked for the following conditions:

  • Professional Judgment Flag is not equal to 1 (Expected Family Contribution Adjustment Processed)
  • National Student Loan Data System Loan Status Codes are not equal to DD (Defaulted, then Died) or DE (Death)

Records that meet all of these conditions and have a valid e-mail address on file with the CPS will be selected for inclusion in the e-mail notification distribution.

Notification Distribution Schedule

The first round of e-mail notifications will be distributed March 15-20, 2013.

In early May 2013, the CPS database will be queried a second time to identify records where the last transaction meets the same conditions as those for the first notification. Records that still meet these conditions will be selected for a second e-mail notification distribution May 10-15, 2013. It is possible that some applicants and parents will receive both the March and May e-mail notifications.

Notification Text

The e-mail notifications encourage the student or parent of a dependent student to submit a correction with updated tax return information filed with the IRS and create a new CPS transaction. The notifications also discourage the student or parent from revising data that was accurate at the time the FAFSA was filed, such as household size or number in college.

The e-mail notifications also instruct the student or parent of a dependent student to update FAFSA questions #32 and #79, which ask the applicant’s or parents’ tax filing status, from a “will file” response to an “already completed” response, even if all other income information on the FAFSA is correct.

Note: We revised the language of the e-mail notifications for 2013-2014 to encourage applicants to make corrections. The new e-mail notifications also no longer emphasize the use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update tax return information. Students and their parents can submit a correction using a paper Student Aid Report (SAR) or FAFSA on the Web’s Correction Entry functionality (including the IRS Data Retrieval Tool). Schools can also submit corrections on behalf of students and their parents using the FAA Access to CPS Online Web site or through an Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) submission.

To review the full text of the e-mail notifications that will be sent to students and parents, refer to the attachment to this announcement. Sample notifications are provided in English only, but applicants who meet the necessary criteria will receive a Spanish version of the appropriate notification.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this message, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

You can also post questions to FSATECH. FSATECH is an electronic mailing list for technical questions about Federal Student Aid systems, software, and mainframe products. For more information on subscribing to FSATECH, go to http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/services/fsatechsubscribe.html.

Last Modified: 03/04/2013