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FAFSA / Tax Form Questions

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Replies to: FAFSA / Tax Form Questions

  • VinnyMVinnyM 44 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    edited January 1
    Quotting Message 43 from mommdc on 12-30-2018 at 9:46 am

    You can go to Collegeboard EFC calculator and run the EFC (federal methodology) both ways, and see for yourself.

    @mommdc,

    Why did you recommend the Collegeboard EFC Calculator over your own FAFSA Spreadsheet for Estimating Dependent Students' EFC and Pell Grant Awards?

    I am almost positive that yours is also Federal Methodology.
    edited January 1
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  • VinnyMVinnyM 44 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    edited January 1
    Quoting Message #58 from thumper1 on January 1, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Is there a limit on the dividend income amount to file a 1040a?

    @thumper1,

    No, Form 1040A does not have any limits on interest or dividend income.

    Would you still like my parent's dividend income?

    VM
    edited January 1
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  • VinnyMVinnyM 44 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    Quoting Message #53 from thumper1 on 12-30-2018 at 4:15 pm

    Are you saying your parents paid for medical expenses beyond what was covered by insurance in the amount of $34, 000 in 2017? And they used savings, credit cards, and stock liquidation?

    @thumper1,

    Not exactly...

    I should have said...

    In 2017, my family had $34,880 in medical expenses (pursuant to IRS regulations) not covered by insurance that my parents paid using cash (5%) and long-term savings and credit card debt (95%).

    Sorry for not being more clear.

    VM

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  • mommdcmommdc 11256 replies30 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 11,286 Senior Member
    The FAFSA EFC spreadsheet is not mine. The Collegeboard EFC calculator is quick and easy to use online. No downloading.
    Since I cannot link to Google docs on here, you would have to request the spreadsheet from @joecolleta via PM.
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  • VinnyMVinnyM 44 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    Quoting Message 32 from twoinanddone on 12-29-2018 at 11:06 pm

    I filed taxes for my kids even if nothing was owed as it was easier to file the FAFSA if there was a returned filed.

    @twoinanddone,

    Thank you for the advice!

    Obtaining letters from IRS certifying non-filer status was a pain.

    Thanks, again!

    VM
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  • mommdcmommdc 11256 replies30 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 11,286 Senior Member
    The FAFSA EFC spreadsheet is not mine. The Collegeboard EFC calculator is quick and easy to use online. No downloading.
    Since I cannot link to Google docs on here, you would have to request the spreadsheet from @joecolleta via PM.

    It could prove helpful to your dad.
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  • VinnyMVinnyM 44 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 47 Junior Member

    @mommdc,

    Sorry, I misspoke when I said, "yours." I should have said, "the Forum's."

    My father has found the spreadsheet helpful, which is why I was confused by your referral to CB's calculator.

    VM
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  • VinnyMVinnyM 44 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    @mommdc,

    I am going to "independently" confirm my father's (i) 1040 and (ii) 1040X/1040A calculations using both the CollegeBoard EFC Calculator and the forum's EFC Calculator and Pell Grant Estimator before advancing any of this thread's messages.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    VM

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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22122 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,136 Senior Member
    So my understanding is that after filing the 1040A-x, and actually paying some tax because you will no longer have a $30k medical deduction, you feel you (and your sister) will receive a larger Pell grant? Are you sure your income will be under $50k so that you will qualify for simplified assets? If your parents will owe $1600 in taxes, I have to guess that the income was very close to $50k to still have some income to pay taxes after the standard deduction ($12k) and 4 personal exemptions ($4k x 4).

    I'm just not seeing a scenario where you are going to go from $50k in above the line income/deductions to a situation where $30k, plus other exemptions and deductions takes you to a $0 tax owed, and that you still qualified for an EFC of $2500. A big medical deduction is below the line and will NOT change your parents' income. Your income shouldn't look all that different using a 1040 or a 1040A.

    I'm really not understanding how switching to a 1040A will help. You might have as much success appealing to the colleges for professional judgment for one time extreme medical expenses paid for with 2017 income. That might get you more in Pell grants for 2018-19 school year AND 19-20.

    Using simplified assets doesn't get you an EFC of $0. Even if you 'only' have income of $50k, you still might have an EFC of $2500.
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  • mommdcmommdc 11256 replies30 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 11,286 Senior Member
    Paying $1,600 in taxes to get $300 change in EFC doesn't seem worth it.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22122 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,136 Senior Member
    ^^Well, I think Vinny is thinking he'll get $3000 more and so will his sister if they get full Pell grants. I just don't think they'll see that much of an increase.
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  • VinnyMVinnyM 44 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    VERY IMPORTANT

    @mommdc @thumper1 @twoinanddone @rosered55 @BelknapPoint @Madison85 @allyphoe @CaMom13 and anyone else following or reading this thread...

    Based on your experience, assuming you enter the same information in the CollegeBoard EFC Calculator and the forum's EFC Calculator and Pell Grant Estimator, obviously, did you get identical EFCs, very close EFCs, or different EFCs?

    Thank you very much for your feedback!

    VM
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  • VinnyMVinnyM 44 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 47 Junior Member

    I figured out why the forum's spreadsheet did not match the CollegeBoard's...

    The first scenario I ran was "I did not qualify for Simplified EFC Formulas" (because my parents filed Form 1040) causing 20% of my assets to be included in Student's Contribution From Assets and therefore in my EFC.

    For anyone who is unfamiliar with the forum's EFC Calculator and Pell Grant Estimator, the EFC Calculator includes or does include the Parents Contribution From Assets and the Student's Contribution From Assets appears to be based on the answer to the question "Does the student qualify for simplified EFC formula?" and the amount enter on Line 1: Parents' AGI or Line 3: Parents' Taxable Income.

    When I entered the data in the CollegeBoard's EFC Calculator, I noticed that there EFC calculator did not ask "On which form did your parents filed their 2017 taxes?" nor did it ask "Does the student qualify for simplified EFC formula?" Or the needs-based testing questions. Therefore, the only data the CollegeBoard's EFC calculator had to decide whether or not you qualified for simplified EFC formula was your parents' AGI.

    In my case, my parents AGI was under $50,000, so the college boards EFC calculator assumed that I qualified for simplified EFC formulas and therefore did not include my parents contribution from assets or my contribution from assets when calculating my EFC.

    My proof that my theory is correct is based on the fact that my parents contribution to the EFC equals the college boards EFC meaning the college board did not take into account the contributions for my assets which it should have because I didn't qualify for the simple by EFC formulas.

    The bottom line is I am now convinced your calculator and the college boards calculator result in the same EFC except for the error in assumptions related to qualifying for simple EFC formulas.

    I can't believe Mr. Coletta was able to outperform the college board!

    VM

    It's
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  • VinnyMVinnyM 44 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 47 Junior Member

    Here are the results for my EFC only...

    I qualify for simplified EFC formulas: EFC = 1892*
    I do not qualify for simplified EFC formulas: EFC = 3763**

    * This same result was generated by the CollegeBoard's EFC calculator and the forum's EFC spreadsheet.
    ** This result could only be generated by the forum's EFC spreadsheet and could not be reproduced by the CollegeBoard's EFC calculator because I could not figure out a way to trick the CollegeBoard's EFC calculator to believe that I did not qualify for simplified EFC formulas.

    The following Pell grant estimates below were produced by the forum's EFC calculator and Pell Grant estimator based on last year's Pell grant tables. According to the forums calculator estimator the new Pell grant tables are not yet available.

    I qualify for simplified EFC formulas: Max. Pell Grant = $4,070
    I do not qualify for simplified EFC formulas: Max. Pell Grant = $2,170

    Given the fact that these numbers are only for me and not my sister, I think it's extremely obvious that my father is right and should file an amended return provided the 12 week delay does not erase all the gain suggested above.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Thank you very much

    VM


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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22122 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,136 Senior Member
    The Pell grant will be the same if you file in Oct or in Feb or even in Sept. It is the OTHER money that runs out, the SEOG, the school's need based aid, and some schools have priority deadlines for school aid. Doesn't mean you won't get it, but you might not get as much.

    Have you tried appealing your FA awards based on the very large medical bills paid last year? You would be appealing for this year, but if awarded, it might carry over to next year.
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  • VinnyMVinnyM 44 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 47 Junior Member

    @twoinanddone

    Yes, I have, and yes, I will.

    Thanks for all of your assistance twoinanddone!

    VM

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  • mommdcmommdc 11256 replies30 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 11,286 Senior Member
    Yes, the EFC I got from Collegeboard, spreadsheet and EFC formula was the same in our case.

    Collegeboard EFC calculator doesn't ask about siimplified needs or tax form used, but it asks about means tested benefits and dislocated worker, two other qualifiers for simplified needs test.

    Starting in 2018 tax year, there won't be a 1040A or EZ anymore, we don't know what that will mean in regards to simplified needs test going forward.

    If you are going to amend parents' 2017 tax return, take the 1098T and tuition statement for 2017 with you too and see if your parents could have claimed AOTC for you and your sister, and if you and your sister will end up having to file a 2017 tax return as a result.
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  • VinnyMVinnyM 44 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    Does anyone know how I can get a copy of the updated FAFSA spreadsheet?
    Thank you very much.
    VinnyM
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