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FAFSA clarification

MaterMiaMaterMia Registered User Posts: 1,155 Senior Member
Ok - if you want to file FAFSA to "get in line" for limited aid at a school (we've been told first-come, first-served on some state grant money) ... should we

1.) File ASAP in January using last year's returns and estimated taxes/income for 2012

If we do this - does this start the process? Or is that a case-by-case answer by school?

If we do this - by when do we have to finalize the FAFSA with actualy 2012 income/taxes?

Anything else to consider?

Post edited by MaterMia on

Replies to: FAFSA clarification

  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 21,090 Super Moderator
    The earliest that you can file the FAFSA for school year 2013/2014 is 1/1/13.
    Yes, this starts the process and puts you in line
    It is not finalized until you submit your tax transcript from the IRS or your non-filers statement (if you/your child is a freshman, it is to you/your parent's benefit to file their taxes early).
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,711 Senior Member
    Finalize your taxes as early as you can. Filing FAFSA early can put you in line for limited funding, but if you are selected for verification this may hold things up at some schools until you submit your tax returns. This happened to my daughter he last year of school. We filed her FAFSA very early in January. She was selected for verification and by the time we found out about it and submitted the tax returns they had awarded all the limited funds and she missed out. Some schools may make a preliminary award while waiting for documentation, hers does not. She did ask why she did not receive SEOG and WS as she had the prior year and when they looked at her file they said it was solely because she was selected for verification and in the 2 weeks it took for us to submit the documents (she was out of town for a week and did not know she had been selected - they posted it spring break week - and then I had to finish up the taxes which I had been procrastinating about - expensive mistake) they had awarded all those funds. So have those tax returns completed and ready to go in case.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 10,527 Senior Member
    ASAP both. I did FAFSA on Jan 2 last year and filed my completed taxes around Feb 5th - had to wait until the end of Jan for all forms to come in. I would file FAFSA right away - this was good enough to "get in line" at S' schools, then complete the IRS filing ASAP. It took me about 10 more days to be able to do the electronic verification of FAFSA with the taxes I filed.

    ...and file the taxes electronically.
  • kelsmomkelsmom Super Moderator Posts: 14,612 Super Moderator
    It is not finalized until you submit your tax transcript from the IRS or your non-filers statement*****
    Just want to clarify ... the tax filer should submit FAFSA indicating "will file" taxes. After taxes are filed, wait about 2 weeks & then go back into the FAFSA to update with the Direct Tax Retrieval option (will probably be an option on the homepage at Home - FAFSA on the Web-Federal Student Aid). That will take you from the FAFSA to the IRS website & allow you to dump your "real" tax info right into the FAFSA.

    The non-tax filer will simply submit the FAFSA indicating "Not required to file." Nothing more needs to be done.

    If you are selected for verification, or if your school requires it of all students, the non filer will be asked to submit a Statement of Non-Filing form. The student who used the IRS data retrieval and did not make any updates to the info transferred will not be required to submit anything else (although some schools may request copies of the schedules - and some may ask for more). A student who uses the transfer tool & then changes info, as well as a student whose information cannot be transferred using the data retrieval tool (amended returns, returns that will not transfer for whatever reason, etc) will be asked to submit an IRS tax transcript.
  • MaterMiaMaterMia Registered User Posts: 1,155 Senior Member
    Thanks everyone - very helpful!
  • momknowsbest3momknowsbest3 Registered User Posts: 144 Junior Member
    MMM so what happens when you don't even get some of your tax forms back from your K1 places until the end of March or early April. We are always waiting on the information to get our taxes finalized. We meet with our accountant in January with all of our stuff, but she can't file for us until near the deadline because of documents we don't have.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    The school can't give you a final offer until your financial information is final.
    Just make sure it is in before priority deadline, however be aware that a student who files early at a school that meets 100% of need, may recieve the bulk of the package in grants, whereas a student who files later may see the bulk of their package is in loans.
  • ldavisldavis Registered User Posts: 672 Member
    great info, thank you.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 26,432 Senior Member
    You can file your taxes before you get K1 or other info using estimates and then file a 1040 X when the actual information is received. If it is essential to have filed returns that may be the best way to go.
  • RunsWScissorsRunsWScissors Registered User Posts: 456 Member
    This was really helpful! I found a video on Youtube explaining the IRS Data Retrieval tool. I also went ahead and got FAFSA pins for me and my son.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,812 Senior Member
    RunsWScissors - Talk with your son, and sort out who is responsible for filing the taxes & FAFSA for each of you. I serve as our family bookkeeper which means I do everyone's paperwork, they look at it, and then I send it all in. Other families have different systems and there are a not inconsiderable number of well-organized HS seniors who handle it all themselves.
This discussion has been closed.