"will file", FAFSA, and verification

<p>I usually fill out my kids FAFSA's using estimated numbers and "will file". My H and I are both self-employed, have to wait for 1099 forms to come in, and also have to wait for statements of dividend income which the financial institutions have a longer time to send out, for some reason. This results in not being able to complete our taxes until late Feb or early March, which stinks for FA awards.
Since we are always selected for Verification, do you think that the "will file" status triggers the Verification?
Thanks!</p>

<p>No. However, if the expected "taxes paid" that you report is higher than what it ought to be based on your expected "income from work," this can trigger verification. Try to be really careful about reporting numbers as close to actual as possible. </p>

<p>If you ever make it through without being selected, and your info is estimated ... when you update it, wait a week or so after you file the taxes & then go in and do a direct IRS link to transfer the tax info. This will help lessen the chance your file will be selected for verification. Plus, next year, the feds are requiring anyone who is verified to actually do a direct IRS transfer of info for verification (at least that is currently scheduled to happen next year).</p>

<p>Do you know if there will be instructions this year.about reporting that $800 tax credit (work credit or whatever it was called)? I don't know that we will get that credit this year, but I know that was something else they caught on verification, that FAFSA did not say to put down/ Just wonder how many people who weren't selected for verification,. also did not report the credit.</p>

<p>It wasn't on the instructions, so those who filed early in the year didn't report it. No one realized it had to be included. The financial aid community actually didn't find out until after schools had started verifying. My office had to go back through all the completed verifications & add the money after the feds sent the letter telling us it had to be included.</p>

<p>I am not sure whether or not it will be included this year (not sure it will be a tax credit this year). The reason it had to be included last year is because only those credits specifically excluded in the law can be excluded. Since it didn't get excluded, it had to be included. It was NOT included in 2010-11, but had to be included in 2011-12. So it's not just students/parents who are confused by the finaid regulations!!</p>

<p>So, basically, only those verified had to add that back in? That does not seem quite right....Hopefully no suprises this year!</p>

<p>I am in the same boat as OP, self employed, also newly single [legal separation]/head of household and first time completing both fafsa and CSS profile this year. I am going to use turbotax next month to try to get as close as I can with the numbers, I am nervous about it though.</p>

<p>dlbarber, I don't know how other schools handled it. However, if a school does not have a reason to feel that a file selected for verification is incorrect, there is no regulation that forces them to look at it. Since a tax credit doesn't "have" to be taken on a tax return, there is no way to know if someone took one in reality (or how much they took). So you would have to verify ALL returns to be "fair," and most schools aren't going to go there. I know it doesn't seem fair, but it's one of those Catch-22's.</p>