Should I include my father's off-the-books income in CSS profile?

My father receives some legal salary and other income is paid off-the-books. Should I include it in the “Other untaxed income”? If yes, what should I write in “Describe this untaxed income”? Thanks in advance!

Yikes, your dad should man up and report that income.

This is an issue you must discuss with your dad. If he earns money through some source without paying taxes, it’s probably tax evasion. I’m guessing he would freak out if you did this without consulting him.

“Other untaxed income” typically means income that the IRS knows about but isn’t supposed to tax, such as Social Security. It doesn’t mean, “this is where you bust your dad for unreported income.”

Irrespective of people’s opinions about said off-the-books income and what should be done about that going forward, your financial aid paperwork should be based on your parents tax return(s), and the numbers should match. If there’s additional income that should be declared, it should go on the taxes first, not make its debut on your CSS profile.

@aquapt That makes sense, but I was a little alarmed by the OP saying “off the books.”

@aquapt I don’t have the actual wording of the CSS in front of me, but in general, two wrongs don’t make a right. If the CSS has an other line that does not say take line x from you tax return, the income should be included to avoid possibility more fraud.

That’s my point - the dad’s tax evasion could jeopardize his child’s college success.

Let’s just say…the issue of getting paid “off the books” is a huge issue that really should not be happening. But that is a totally different discussion.

I believe you should be including ALL income your parent receives regardless of the method of payment. If you don’t include income and get need based aid, you will be doing so by knowingly omitting information which is considered fraud.

@BelknapPoint where would this person put their under the table earnings on the FAFSA and profile?

On FAFSA all parent income is reported in questions 86 and 87: “How much did Parent 1 (or 2) (father/mother/stepparent) earn from working in 2019?” This is regardless of whether or not the income is properly reported on a tax return.

I don’t have access to a current version of Profile, but it sounds like there’s an entry for “any other untaxed income and benefits” for 2019. Even if the under-the-table income was taxable, this is probably the best place to report it on Profile. The income was untaxed because OP’s father failed to report it on a tax return. It also sounds like an explanation is necessary. ivewlos needs to have a conversation with his/her father.