No income during 2017, however parent employed in 2018

(From Turkey) My parents were both unemployed during 2017; however, one of them started working in January 2018 and has a steady income. However all the documents including CSS, ISFAA and ISCOF ask for 2017 figures. What should I do?

The 2019-2020 financial aid forms use income information from the 2017 calendar year. Use 2017.

However…if your parents really had ZERO income in 2017, be prepared to explain how they paid your family day to day living expenses during that time…because, very likely, you will be asked.

Yes, this is the exact reason I don’t want to fill them in with information from 2017. I have the documentations for 2018, would it change anything?


The 2019-2020 forms REQUIRE the 2017 income. You can’t just decide to use a different year because you don’t have what you need for 2017.

How did your parents pay for food, shelter, your clothing, anything…during 2017? Who paid those bills? Surely they were paid…and there is some way to show who paid them.

Did someone else pay your living expenses in 2017?

Did your parents use savings to pay during 2017?

Did you receive some kind of country aid to pay your bills?

My father was working in daily jobs (which he still does); however it seems like there is a way to prove that. He did not submit any tax returns; and he was not working for a single individual.

Is there a way I can add this income in my form?

Are you saying your dad has NO idea what his earnings were in 2017? Clearly, his income is NOT $0. You need to put down what his income was in 2017. Your dad was NOT unemployed if he worked daily jobs…of any kind. If he was driving a taxi…as you mentioned in other posts…and rented the taxi on a day to day basis, he was a self employed taxi driver…with an income…

You need to figure out what that income was.

In your other thread you said he’s self-employed as a taxi driver. If he was working, why didn’t he submit income tax returns?

This family lives in Turkey and i believe are Turkish citizens…guessing tax returns are not done there?

But that doesn’t matter.

  1. It is required that this student list ALL parent income from 2017...and that includes the taxi driving income.
  2. The parent was employed in 2017 as a taxi driver...self employed.

My father was driving several taxis during 2017, and it was not on a regular basis; some days he got some money and sometimes he didn’t; however, we can definitely estimate a yearly income. He was driving taxis, but it was not his “profession,” he was working in any taxis he could find. He was not paying any taxes because he was not working on his behalf, he completed other’s works for a portion of their income. So he was not “self-employed” according to Turkish government, he is recognised as “unemployed.”

Individuals not owning a business don’t submit any tax returns for their income. It’s somehow like babysitting for extra money, you don’t have a steady job but you need some money, so you work in some daily jobs if available.

Well…for financial aid purposes in THIS country, you are REQUIRED to list your dad’s earnings for 2017. And HERE he is not considered unemployed if he earned money. He was employed.

You are filing a financial aid for for aid in the United States…not Turkey.

You need to put down your dad’s earnings…and if he had earnings, regardless of how he earned them…he was employed.

@BelknapPoint can you explain the difference between employed and unemployed to this poster? I’m not having any success.

How was he paid? If you’re picked for verification can you show anything – bank deposits, receipts… – to show income? If he only worked occasionally what did your family live on?

Colleges that offer need based aid evaluate how much families can pay based on their income and assets. I don’t know if an estimate of income is going to be enough to make you eligible for aid. You can try, but make sure you have some affordable options in your own country.

How much about did your dad earn driving the taxi in 2017?

He would talk with a taxi owner and take his car for a day, and work. At the end of the day, he would give the money to the taxi owner, while taking a portion of the money (on cash.) So he did not have any verification. He made around 3000 dollars annually with todays exchange rate. It was very low, but it somehow met our basic expenses.

Then that is his income.

Ok, but how am I supposed to fill in questions about this income? There is no chance of verification.

Look…you have to be HONEST!

You can’t put $0 if your dad earned $3000

Yes, I know that. I want to fill in his income; I know it’s both unethical and ridiculous to not to do so, also this is the only explanation for my family’s survival that year. But I don’t know how will I put it. I can’t put it in his job, because he does not seem “self-employed” in any documents. He earned us a living with extra jobs, which are both temporary and undocumented. I will not be able to send any documents about his earnings to the colleges, and this puts me in a very critical situation.

Sorry if my attitude was disrespectful or annoying; it’s just there is only hours left to submit it, and I am lost about this whole situation for days.

Can I show it in non-filer income section?

You can list his income and say honestly that it was on a cash basis.

In America even babysitters that earn $400 or more have to file a tax return and pay self employment taxes.

So, I am going to fill it in non-filer section, and provide an explanation in the special circumstances section that he was working in daily jobs without any documentation, right?

You figure out how much he earned and fill it in. People do it all the time when they earn money from tips, from teaching piano lessons, from doing yard work. Should your father have kept records? Yes, but too late now. Do your best to figure out an amount (did he make $20 per shift, and did he work 4 shifts a week? did he earn enough to pay the rent and the rent was $200?) Be honest. The schools may accept your accounting without verification because they see the figures as reasonable.

The CSS asks for an estimate of 2018 income, so you’ll have that.