Financial Aid Training
Percentage of questions on the paper FAFSA that directly mention income, taxes, or a line from a tax return.

Why Financial Aid Training?

The Department of Education states that financial aid professionals are not expected to have special knowledge or expertise regarding the U.S. tax code. Even so, it requires them to identify students and parents who should have filed a tax return and did not, and identify incorrectly filed returns.

Online Training Solutions for Groups

We have moved our training for the 2020-2021 training season online so that we don’t need to meet in large groups or travel.  We will be offering in-person again as soon as it is safe to do so.

Training workshops fall into two tracks – the FM Verification and Conflicting Information track, and the Business and Real Estate Tax Returns track.  Each track consists of four, two-hour long, core webinars.  Webinars are available a la carte with a discount for schools and associations that purchase four or more webinars.

All training listed below will focus on the 2021-2022 academic year with 2019 as the base year, and will be available starting on September 2, 2020.  2020-2021 (2018 base year) training is also available.

If you’d like to arrange training for your financial aid staff or for members of your state association, please contact Robert Weinerman.

Webinar Descriptions

FM Verification and Conflicting Information Track

The four core programs in this track cover the tax-related information the Department of Education expects financial aid officers to understand.  Each webinar is a stand-alone offering – it is not necessary to view them in the order listed.

Core Webinar 1 – 2021-2022 Verification of Tax Filers

This webinar will be scheduled for 2 1/4 hours as it contains more content than the other three webinars.

  • Documentation requirements for selected tax filers
  • Verification of tax filers using the IRS DRT, tax returns, and tax transcripts
  • Review of Forms 1040, 1040SR, and Schedules 1, 2, and 3
  • Changes to the tax code in 2019
  • Schedule 1 based Eligibility for the Automatic Zero EFC and Simplified Formula
  • Verification when a tax filer has a rollover
  • IRS Request Flag 7
  • Verification when a tax filer or the IRS has amended or changed the original return

Core Webinar 2 – Verifying Non-Tax Filers, and Who Must File a Tax Return

  • Documentation requirements for selected non-tax filers
  • VNF waivers
  • Verification of tax extenders
  • Comprehensive review of the income issues that trigger an IRS tax filing requirement
  • Resolving C Code 20
  • Gross income, self-employment income, household employee income, and other income

Core Webinar 3 – Filing Status and FAFSA-IRS Marital Status Mismatches

  • Guidance – the financial aid administrator’s responsibilities re: filing status
  • ISIR codes related to marital status and filing status mismatches
  • Comprehensive guide to determining the correct filing status for a taxpayer
  • Head of Household – when can a married taxpayer file as a head of household?
  • Addressing incorrect head of household filings
  • Guidance – when the people on a tax return and the people on the FAFSA differ
  • Splitting a single AGI out of a joint tax return

Core Webinar 4 – Other Issues – Income Earned from Work, The Tax Table Method of Splitting the Income Tax for 2019, and Professional Judgment Related Tax Issues

  • Conflicting information and income earned from work
  • Proper reporting of income earned from work on the FAFSA
  • Foreign earned income, Puerto Rico earned income, combat pay, and statutory employees
  • The Tax Table method of calculating income tax for 2019
  • Professional judgment and Roth IRA conversions
  • Professional judgment and adjustments to earned income and capital gains

Supplemental Webinar – Assets

This webinar is not included in the program core and is offered as a supplement to the core.

  • Overview of asset-related guidance
  • Proper reporting of assets on the FAFSA
  • Parental asset or student asset?
  • When to report business, trust, and real estate assets – and when they are not reportable
  • What does the Department say about asset-related conflicting information?
  • Addressing asset-related conflicting information

Business and Real Estate Tax Returns Track

After completing the four core programs in this track, aid officers will be able to review most real estate and business tax returns to determine a business’s available income (compared to taxable income) and value.

Core Webinar 1 – Introduction to the Business Income, Expenses, and Schedule C

  • Introduction to business and rental property income and expenses
  • Taxable income vs. business profit vs. available income
  • Depreciation, amortization, and other expenses that distort business cash flow
  • Case reviews to convert taxable income into available income
  • Review of a simple Schedule C business

Core Webinar 2 – Partnerships

  • Introduction to pass-through entities
  • Partnerships, payments to partners, and business profits/losses
  • Review of a partnership tax return (Form 1065 and related schedules)
  • Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) deep dive
  • How partnership income and deductions are transferred to the owner’s personal return
  • When a business owns a business – review of a partnership that owns a partnership and real estate

Core Webinar 3 – S and C Corporations

  • Introduction to S corporations and C corporations
  • Review of an S corporation tax return (Form 1120S and related schedules)
  • Schedule K-1 (Form 1120S)
  • How S corporation income and deductions are transferred to the owner’s personal return
  • Review of a C corporation tax return (Form 1120 and related schedules)

Core Webinar 4 – Real Estate Tax Returns and Business Valuations

  • Rental and royalty income, expenses, and allowable losses
  • Case review of Schedule E, page 1
  • When is real estate an investment?  When is real estate a business?
  • Real estate valuations
  • Partnership and corporate balance sheets
  • Estimating the value of a Schedule C business, partnership, S corporation, and C corporation

Supplemental Webinar – Advanced Personal Tax Return Review

This webinar is not included in the program core and is offered as a supplement to the core.

  • Review of Form 1040 and the numbered Schedules for unusual asset and income indicators
  • Asset indicators on the personal tax return
  • Imputing asset values
  • Unusual income and deductions and how to address them

Short Programs or Conference Sessions

The content in our FM Verification and Conflicting Information track can be broken into smaller pieces for clients who need targeted training and for delivery at in-person and virtual conferences.  Please contact Robert Weinerman for up-to-date program information and pricing.

We are always interested in meeting the needs of the higher education community.  If there is a specific training topic related to taxes or need analysis that you would like Iron Bridge Resources to offer, please let us know.

For More Information, Please Contact:

Robert Weinerman

Director of Training

Robert does a terrific job presenting complex tax information in a systematic way. His training materials are comprehensive and serve as excellent reference documents. He researches questions needing further IRS clarification and delivers the information promptly. I highly recommend him and Iron Bridge Resources for tax workshops.

Maureen FagenNHASFAA Training Chair

Robert, thank you for your fabulously informative Tax Workshop. Your detailed explanations were greatly appreciated. The content was clearly presented and, while incredibly thorough and in-depth, I didn’t feel overwhelmed. I gained new knowledge and have references and resources to turn to as I begin the verification season.

Colleen Mulrooney BarkerAssistant Director of Financial Aid at Fairfield University