The Department of Education has released new guidance related to income tax verification for individuals selected for verification as part of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application process. Effective immediately, signed copies of tax returns will be acceptable in place of tax transcripts for both the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 academic years. More flexibility has also been provided to individuals who need to document they didn’t file taxes. This new guidance is not related to the partial government shutdown and will continue even after the full federal government reopens. For additional information, see the Department of Education’s Electronic Announcement.