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(General) Subject: 2017-2018 FAFSA Verification-IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix

Posted Date:January 12, 2017

Author: Jeff Baker, Director, Policy Liaison and Implementation, Federal Student Aid

Subject: 2017-2018 FAFSA Verification-IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix

Attached to this Electronic Announcement is the 2017-2018 FAFSA Verification-IRS Tax Return Transcript Matrix that institutions can use for 2017-2018 verification of tax return information. Because the 2017-2018 FAFSA begins the use of prior-prior year income and tax information (2015 income and tax information), this tax matrix is the same as the matrix provided for the 2016-2017 FAFSA.

Since the IRS Tax Return Transcript does not have line or item numbers and uses wording that may be different from what is used on the FAFSA, the matrix will help financial aid administrators map 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript information to FAFSA/ISIR data.The first column of the matrix lists the seven 2017-2018 FAFSA information items that, consistent with the April 1, 2016 Federal Register notice and Dear Colleague Letter GEN-16-07, posted on April 5, 2016, may need to be verified for a student or parent who indicated that they did or will file a 2015 IRS tax return. The second column displays the student FAFSA question number for each item followed by the parent FAFSA question number. The third column displays the student ISIR item number followed by the parent ISIR item number. ISIR numbers are from the 2017-2018 Electronic Data Exchange (EDE) Technical Reference.

The fourth column of the matrix is the item name as displayed on the IRS Tax Return Transcript. Note 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.

Note that beginning with 2015, 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 2015 IRS tax returns (IRS Form 1040, IRS Form 1040A, and IRS Form 1040EZ).

Under provisions of the Higher Education Act (HEA), taxes and credits related to the 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).

If you have any questions about the attached matrix, please contact our Research and Customer Care Center staff. Staffs are available Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM (Eastern Time) at 1-800-433-7327. After hours calls will be accepted by an automated voice response system. Callers leaving their names and phone numbers will receive a return call the next business day. Alternatively, you may email the Care Center at

Last Modified: 01/11/2017