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Information for 2014-2015

FAFSA

Chattanooga State will begin downloading 2014-2015 FAFSA applications between mid-March. Students must log into their TigerWeb account to view additional documents needed to complete their financial aid application for fall semester. Students that turn in all documents with no incomplete or missing items by July 1 will receive a guarantee from the financial aid office their aid will be packaged, if eligible, prior to the start of the fall semester.

Awards

Below is the order and timeline in which students are awarded aid when their financial aid application is complete:

Grants & Scholarships (Institutional, State, and Federal)
Federal Work Study (Students must interview and be selected by the supervisor)
Federal Loans (loans are awarded at the end of July after all other aid is awarded)

Verification

What is Verification? The U.S. Department of Education (ED) selects students for the verification process. Once selected, a college or university financial aid office is required to verify selected items by collecting tax transcripts and other specified documents, and compare the information with items on the student's FAFSA.
The U.S. Department of Education identifies the specific items that must be verified. Not all students will be required to turn in the same documentation; it will depend on which verification group the student is selected. Examples of the different verification groups and items that a student will need to verify are listed below. Details of what documentation is needed from a student will be posted on the student's TigerWeb account. The majority of information, except for tax transcripts and SNAP documentation, is collected through an online verification form.

Group 1:

  • Tax return transcript (only if the student did not us the IRS Data Retrieval on the FAFSA)
  • Number of household members
  • Number in college
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-Food Stamps)
  • Child support PAID
  • Income earned from work for non-tax filers

Group 2: (Not used for 2014-2015 Academic Year)

Group 3:

  • Child support PAID

Group 4:

  • High School completion status
  • Statement of Educational Purpose
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-Food Stamps)
  • Child support PAID

Group 5:

  • Tax return transcript (only if the student did not us the IRS Data Retrieval on the FAFSA)
  • Number of household members
  • Number in college
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-Food Stamps)
  • Child support PAID
  • Income earned from work for non-tax filers
  • High School completion status
  • Statement of Educational Purpose

Group 6: New for 2014-2015

  • Tax return transcript (only if the student did not us the IRS Data Retrieval on the FAFSA)
  • Number of household members
  • Number in college
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-Food Stamps)
  • Child support PAID
  • Income earned from work for non-tax filers
  • Other untaxed income for non-tax filers

Tax Return Documentation

Financial aid offices cannot accept signed copies of federal tax returns from students and parents for FAFSA Verification purposes. All applicants have two options to provide tax return documentation:

Option 1 (preferred and quickest). Use the IRS Data Retrieval Process when completing the FAFSA online.

  • Students and parents have the option to automatically link to the IRS to transfer 2013 tax information to the FAFSA.
  • The Federal Tax Return must be filed at least two weeks (if filing electronically) prior to using the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool to allow the IRS time to process the return. Paper tax return filing will require a longer wait time.
  • Additional documentation may still be required to verify data not provided by the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool such the institutional verification form for such items as household size, number in college, and untaxed income.
  • Certain tax filers may not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval and will need to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript (see list below).

Tax filers not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

  • Filing status - Married Filing Separately
  • Filing status - Head of Household (when parent or student is married and filed the tax return either as head of household or married but filing a separate return)
  • Filed Amended Tax Return
  • Filed Foreign Tax Return
  • Recently filed taxes (less than two weeks)

Students and parents that did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when initialing completing the FAFSA may log back into the FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool after completing their FAFSA.

Option 2. Request a Federal Tax Return Transcript from the IRS and Turn in the document to the Chattanooga State Enrollment Services Center.

  • An official tax return transcript will be required for tax filers not able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  • Additional documentation may also be required to verify data not provided such as copies of W-2 forms, 1099 forms, and verification form for such items as household size, number in college, and untaxed income.

Options to Request a Tax Return Transcript:

Online Request:

  • Available on the IRS website at www.irs.gov
  • The IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested online cannot be sent directly to an institution
  • Once the student and/or parent receive the Tax Return Transcript, write the student's ID at the top of each page of the form before turning it into the Information Desk in the Student Center.

Telephone Request:

  • Available from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-9946

Paper Request form - IRS Form 4506T-EZ

  • Download form 4506T-EZ from the IRS website
  • Complete the form according to the instructions.
  • Although Line 5 provides tax filers with the option to have their IRS Tax Return Transcript mailed directly to a third party by the IRS, it is not the recommended method as the institution may have difficulty matching a parent's incoming IRS Tax Return Transcript to the aid applicant, as the two names may be different.
  • Recommend the parent and/or student have the IRS Tax Return Transcript mailed directly to them and then turn in to the transcript to the Enrollment Services Center after writing the student's ID at the top of the parent and student's transcript.

Non-Tax Filers will be required to turn in additional information to document all sources of income.

Tax Return Documentation for Individuals Granted a Filing Extension by the IRS

If a student/parent is required to file a 2013 IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS, provide the following documents to the Enrollment Services Center:

  • A copy of the IRS form 4868 that was filed with the IRS for tax year 2013; AND
  • A copy of IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2013 and, if self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the individual's AGI and the U.S. Income tax paid for tax year 2013

Tax Return Documentation for Individuals Who Filed an Amended IRS Income Tax Return

If a student/parent filed an amended IRS income tax return for tax year 2013, provide both of the following:

  • A signed copy of the original 2013 IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS or a 2013 IRS Tax Return Transcript (signature not required) for the 2013 tax year; AND
  • A signed copy of the 2013 IRS Form 1040X that was filed with the IRS. Form must include a stamp from the IRS validating the form
     

Tax Return Documentation for Individuals Who Were Victims of IRS Identity Theft

A victim of IRS identity theft who has been unable to obtain a 2013 IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool must provide a signed copy of the 2013 paper IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS and a signed copy of IRS form 14039 "Identity Theft Affidavit" if one was submitted to the IRS. If the individual did not keep a copy of Form 14039 or the IRS did not require student/parent to submit one, the following must be provided:

  • A statement signed and dated by the individual indicating that student and/or parent was a victim or IRS identity theft and that the IRS is investigating the matter. The statement must also indicate that the individual submitted a form 14039 to the IRS, but did not keep a copy of it or that it was not required; OR
  • A copy of a police report if it was filed related to the IRS identity theft.
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