Priority


There is an order of priority of documents the application will use in Smart File Review, in the case that documents with similar fields have conflicting data. For example, if an IRS Tax Return Transcript  reports an AGI of $30,000 and an IRS Form 1040X reports an AGI of $31,000, the application will know to use the amount of $31,000 from the 1040X because it is the amended version of the transcript and will contain the most recent information.


The order of priority is as follows:


  1. IRS Form 1040X - it contains the most recent, full set of data, so it trumps over all other docs
  2. IRS Tax Return Transcript
  3. IRS Form 1040
  4. IRS Form 2350
  5. IRS Form 4868
  6. Wage and Income Transcript
  7. W-2 Form(s)



Summation


The application will calculate the sum of tax ISIR fields shared by multiple documents when needed. This only happens in the case that either Parent 1 and Parent 2, or Student and Spouse, are married and not filing a joint tax return. If married and filing jointly or single, there is no need to calculate a sum of multiple document types. The following ISIR fields can be calculated in a summation:


  • AGI
  • Exemptions
  • Taxes Paid
  • Educational Credits
  • Interest Income
  • IRA Distributions
  • Untaxed Pensions
  • IRA Payments
  • Tax Deferred Pensions and Savings



Let's look at the scenarios automatically created through the verification process, and which document types fall within them:


1. Parent 1 and Parent 2 are reported through the verification process and have not filed jointly - the documents are tied to specific parents and will run a summation between them.

Parent 1-2015 IRS Form 1040X
Parent 2-2015 IRS Form 1040X
Parent 1-2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript
Parent 2-2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript
Parent 1-2015 IRS Form 4868
Parent 2-2015 IRS Form 4868
Parent 1-2015 Wage and Income Transcript
Parent 2-2015 Wage and Income Transcript
Parent 1-2015 W-2 Form(s)
Parent 2-2015 W-2 Form(s)


2. Parent 1 and Parent 2 are reported through the verification process and have filed jointly - the documents are tied to the parents as a couple and no summation is necessary.

Parents' 2015 IRS Form 1040X
Parents' 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript
Parents' 2015 IRS Form 4868
Parents' 2015 Wage and Income Transcript


3. There is only one parent reported through the verification process, though the system cannot assume if it is Parent 1 or Parent 2, and has not filed jointly - the documents are tied to that parent and no summation is necessary.

Parent 2015 IRS Form 1040X
Parent's 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript
Parent 2015 IRS Form 4868
Parent 2015 Wage and Income Transcript
Parent 2015 W-2 Form(s)


4. A spouse is reported through the verification process and has not filed jointly - the documents are tied to the student and spouse individually and will run a summation between them.

Student's 2015 IRS Form 1040X
Spouse's 2015 IRS Form 1040X
Student's 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript
Spouse's 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript
Student's 2015 IRS Form 4868
Spouse's 2015 IRS Form 4868
Student's 2015 Wage and Income Transcript
Spouse's 2015 Wage and Income Transcript
Student's 2015 W-2 Form(s)
Spouse's 2015 W-2 Form(s)


5. A spouse is reported through the verification process and has filed jointly - the documents are tied to the student and spouse as a couple and no summation is necessary.

Student's 2015 IRS Form 1040X
Student's 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript
Student's 2015 IRS Form 4868
Student's 2015 Wage and Income Transcript


6. A spouse is not reported through the verification process - documents are tied to the student and no summation is necessary.

Student's 2015 IRS Form 1040X
Student's 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript
Student's 2015 IRS Form 4868
Student's 2015 Wage and Income Transcript
Student's 2015 W-2 Form(s)



Example of Prioritization and Summation


Parent 1 and Parent 2 were reported through the verification process and filed their tax returns separately. The application created a task for the Parent 1-2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript to be uploaded and the Parent 2-2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript to be uploaded. The transcript for Parent 1 reports an AGI of $20,000. The transcript for Parent 2 reports an AGI of $25,000. Currently, Smart File Review would calculate a summed AGI of $45,000 for the Parents' Adjusted Gross Income.


The financial aid office learns that Parent 2 has later amended their taxes and requests the Parent 2-2015 IRS Form 1040X. The 1040X, reported with an AGI of $29,000, has been submitted. Smart File Review will now prioritize the 1040X for Parent 2 and calculates the summed AGI of $49,000 for the Parents' Adjusted Gross Income, using the documents Parent 1-2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript and Parent 2-2015 IRS Form 1040X.



Common Issue When Manually Requesting Tax Documentation


A common issue found when manually requesting tax documentation is requesting one or more documents that do not fit within the same scenario mentioned in the Summation section above. If documents from different scenarios are requested and reviewed by the financial aid office, Smart File Review will use the values of the first tax document used and ignore the other documents that the office may be expecting to be calculated in a summation.


Example: The Parents' 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript is manually requested. When the FA office learns that the parents filed separately, they request a Parent 1-2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript. Because the first document requested (Parents' - plural) is assumed as a joint filed return, it cannot calculate any summed fields with the Parent 1 transcript and the Parent 1 transcript is ignored. Smart File Review will now show the following error:



In order to resolve the issue:


  • Click Select Document Set
  • Review details of which document sets have been requested/submitted
  • Under Options, select which document set you wish to pull for tax amount values
  • Click Save & Close



Once saved, Smart File Review will use the selected document set to provide document values for any ISIR field that could be associated with summed values (Adjusted Gross Income, Income Tax Paid, Exemption, etc.). The error module will now appear as gold and allow you to go back in and make a different selection if needed. Any future changes in Document Set selection will be adjusted in Smart File Review.