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2009-2010 FAFSA...no parent's tax return....yet.

mcalvelloxxmcalvelloxx Registered User Posts: 250 Junior Member
My dad will not file his taxes until August or so.
I know there's an income estimator in the FAFSA app. but how do I use it?

I have a copy of my dad's 2007 tax return here.
Should I just type the AGI from 2007 and make corrections later when I get his 2008 tax return?

Post edited by mcalvelloxx on

Replies to: 2009-2010 FAFSA...no parent's tax return....yet.

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,386 Senior Member
    Yes...do an estimated FAFSA ASAP. If your dad has any information that might enable you to make really good estimates, us that info. You will be filing the regular 2009-2010 FAFSA but you will be indicating "will file" as your filing status.

    I sure hope you haven't missed the deadlines. Nevertheless...get it done ASAP.
  • ns347ns347 Registered User Posts: 933 Member
    yea do it soon, and basically put in figures from last year, and adjust accordingly.

    if income was 75,000 last year, put that in, than figure out that ur dad works on average 5 hours less a week this year and subtract that. (so 75,000 - (wage per hour x 5 hours x 4 weeks x 12 months))

    I guess that's one way to do it. they don't expect it to be exact, its an estimate....
  • LasMaLasMa Registered User Posts: 10,847 Senior Member
    You might also want to send a letter to your schools, explaining that this is your best estimate, and that you will provide actual returns as soon as they are available. Have Dad sign the letter too.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,648 Senior Member
    Any financial aid awards will be estimates until the taxes are finalized so you will not know what your real financial aid award offers will be until very late if the the returns are not complete until August. Also no financial aid will be disbursed until the taxes are finalized. If the taxes are not filed until August or so this may mean aid may not be available when first payments are due.

    Depending on the school they may not even make any offers until the taxes are finalized. We have been selected for verification several times and neither of my kids schools will make any sort of aid offer until the verification process is complete. The verification process includes submitting signed tax returns.
  • Jolynne SmythJolynne Smyth Registered User Posts: 2,714 Senior Member
    swimcatsmom--so all schools will be asking for those signed tax returns? We got our first letter re: that last week, and my husband got nervous sending out all that personal data on the 1040. But...if it's the norm and all schools do it, that would make me/him feel better.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,648 Senior Member
    Yes it is the norm though not everyone will be selected (makes it sound like an honor doesn't it). Schools have to verify at least 30% of FAFSAs submitted to them. Some verify more. The verification process includes completing some forms and submitting signed tax returns, and W2s. The last 2 years we also had to submit my husbands 1099 for SS retirement income but as that is not reportable income this year I am curious to see if it will be asked for. We have done it 4 times so far , waiting to hear if we have to do it again for 3 FAFSAs this year.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,386 Senior Member
    so all schools will be asking for those signed tax returns?

    This varies by schools. In our experience...MOST schools do ask for tax forms for incoming freshmen. Some actually do it as part of the application process, some do it to verify that what you put on your finaid ap forms reflects what actually is reported on your taxes.

    Schools vary....but if the school requires the tax returns, Swimcats is absolutely correct...until you send them, you won't receive any financial aid monies, and your award will be an estimated one.
  • Jolynne SmythJolynne Smyth Registered User Posts: 2,714 Senior Member
    Thanks!!! New to this process, glad to hear what the norms are...
  • MFallonMFallon Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    The federal student aid application is the gateway to most aid for college.

    The 2009-2010 FAFSA asks 137 income, asset, and dependency questions, and can be daunting. You can answer some questions incorrectly and still have your application approved but receive a smaller aid award. Other inaccuracies can cause rejection, which in the first-come, first-served world of student aid means that less aid will be available when your application is finally considered.

    Here are my top 10 ways to improve your student aid eligibility:

    1.Don’t delay. If you file your income taxes around the April 15th deadline, don’t wait until your taxes are completed to file your FAFSA or you will miss most of the state and college student aid deadlines. Most programs award aid on a first-come, first-serve basis. Providing accurate estimates on the FAFSA is perfectly fine. Be careful when calculating or estimating your adjusted gross income. Answering this question incorrectly won’t cause your FAFSA to be rejected, but could lower your aid award. Remember, your taxable income is not your adjusted gross income.

    2. Don’t include untaxed Social Security as income. The law changed this year. Reporting it will inflate your expected family contribution and lower the amount of aid for which you are eligible.

    3. Children of divorced parents typically believe that the parent they live with is their legal guardian and that they are in a legal guardianship. This is not true in all cases. A wrong answer will incorrectly change the student’s dependency status to “independent” and impact the aid calculation.

    4. More families are withdrawing funds from retirement accounts early – sometimes it’s taxed and sometimes it’s not. Counting these funds in both adjusted gross income and untaxed income will inflate your expected family contribution and decrease aid.

    5. If you or a family member has had their job eliminated, you may be eligible to answer “yes” to the “dislocated worker” question. You need to meet one of four criteria on the day that you submit your FAFSA. Student Financial Aid Services is seeing that one in every 10 families has a member whose job has been eliminated. Being a “dislocated worker” affects how your assets are treated and could even reduce your expected family contribution to zero.

    6. Consider getting student aid advice and FAFSA preparation help from paid professionals. Federal law allows paid professional FAFSA preparation, much like tax advisors help families prepare their taxes accurately and correctly to maximize their tax refunds. Choose a professional FAFSA preparer who has a good Better Business Bureau rating, uses people to review each answer to ensure accuracy, receives high ratings from past clients, and has the goal of making you eligible for the most aid possible. With the average student aid award of $9,500 at stake, help from a professional FAFSA preparer can relieve some of the stress of finding money for college.

    7. Don’t include your primary residence as an asset, or you will be inflating your expected family contribution and lowering your potential for aid.

    8. Not all businesses are treated the same when calculating assets. Different rules apply to family-owned businesses employing fewer than 100 people. Getting this wrong won’t reject your FAFSA, but it could lower the amount of aid for which you are eligible.

    9. List your last name exactly as it appears on your Social Security card or your FAFSA will be rejected.

    10. Double-check all numbers. That sounds simple, but transposing numbers is one of the most common mistakes and will affect your aid award.

    Meeting state and college deadlines is essential to receiving aid. 70 percent of all state and college deadlines fall before April 15, 2009 and the federal deadline for the 2009-2010 academic year is June 30, 2010. You have an 18-month window in case your financial circumstances change after you finish first semester (like if a parent's job is eliminated).

    Nearly every student is eligible for some form of financial aid, including low-interest federal Stafford and/or parent PLUS loans, regardless of income or circumstances, provided a student:

    • is a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or an eligible non-citizen;
    • has a valid Social Security Number;
    • has a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent;
    • is registered with the U.S. Selective Service (if a male ages 18 to 25);
    • completes a FAFSA promising to use any federal aid for educational purposes;
    • does not owe refunds on any federal student grants;
    • is not in default on any student loans; and
    • has not been found guilty of the sale or possession of illegal drugs during a period
    when he/she received federal student aid.
  • LasMaLasMa Registered User Posts: 10,847 Senior Member
    My paid preparer tried to get us to refinance the house and buy whole life insurance.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Registered User Posts: 5,746 Senior Member
    LasMa, that seems crazy! Are these people certified in any way? The most knowledgeable of the typical paid professionals on FA is a good certified financial planner, in my experience. Expecially one with kids slightly older than your own! I figured out my own FAFSA, but the financial planner I've used for years definitely had set me on the right path and alerted me early on to things that would help in the process. I know that he's always a phone call away if I have a question or can't find something. An ongoing relationship with someone you trust...priceless!
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