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Simplified Needs Test--FAFSA

ColoSkyColoSky Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
I have read that if the parents' adjusted gross income is less than $50,,000 and the parents filed or *were eligible* to file an IRS Form 1040A, the dependent student qualifies for these simplified version of FAFSA. We filled out our taxes using an online program that automatically uses the 1040. From what I am reading online, I think we may have been eligible to file a 1040A. How do I go about verifying this? I want to be sure that we fill out the FAFSA correctly and honestly.

Replies to: Simplified Needs Test--FAFSA

  • BelknapPointBelknapPoint Registered User Posts: 2,886 Senior Member
    These are the notes from the FAFSA paper/pdf version concerning FAFSA question 83:

    83. If your parents have filed or will file a 1040,
    were they eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ?
    See Notes page 9.

    Page 9 Notes
    In general, a person is eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ if he or she
    makes less than $100,000, does not itemize deductions, does not receive
    income from his or her own business or farm and does not receive
    alimony. A person is not eligible to file a 1040A or 1040EZ if he or she
    makes $100,000 or more, itemizes deductions, receives income from
    his or her own business or farm, is self-employed, receives alimony or
    is required to file Schedule D for capital gains. If you filed a 1040 only
    to claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Tax
    Credit, and you would have otherwise been eligible to file a 1040A or
    1040EZ, answer “Yes” to this question. If you filed a 1040 and were not
    required to file a tax return, answer “Yes” to this question.

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,483 Senior Member
    edited September 12
    Just FYI....the simplified needs test does one thing only...it allows someone who qualifies NOT to include any of their assets when filing the FAFSA. Do you have significant assets that you hope not to have to include on the fafsa? If not...this really isn't going to help you.

    Other than that...the fafsa will be the same.

    Any chance you get free or reduced lunch...or another means tested benefit?

    Or is one of your parents a displaced worker?

    These are the other two criteria,..and only one of them is required. So...do any of these apply to you?

    What online tax software program automatically does a 1040? In most cases, you are given the options from which to choose.
  • ColoSkyColoSky Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    Yes, we make under $50,000 a year. We do have some assets from inheritance that unfortunately are not in retirement accounts but is what we will ultimately need them for. We homeschool and so the free and reduced lunch doesn't apply. We used free tax usa and they have a statement that says "Anyone who uses Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A can also use Form 1040. The FreeTaxUSA software gathers your information and allows you to print and file a Form 1040." I wish I would have known about all of this when we filed. Now I am trying to figure out if we could have filed at 1040A. We called a tax preparer and that person was not interested in helping. I just want to make sure we fill out the form correctly.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,483 Senior Member
    edited September 12
    What about SNAP? Do you qualify for that?

    Also...for FAFSA purposes...your assets would only add 5.6% to your EFC. But if you have $100,000 in assets...that would make your EFC above the cut off for Pell eligibility.

    Have you contributed the maximum to your retirement accounts? Maybe it's time to move some of the money into an actual retirement account.

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,077 Senior Member
    Several of the tax programs default to a 1040. If you could have filed the 1040A (just read the questions and look at your return - any schedules that are only allowed with 1040?) then you can answer yes to that question.

    Even if your children are home schooled they are eligible to fill out the Free Lunch forms. Sometimes those are used by camps, churches, rec centers to qualify kids for meals at those programs.
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