BA Harris LLP

FAFSA and 2011 Tax Reporting

Published on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It’s that time of year again! Not only is it tax season but for those with college bound students it’s FAFSA reporting time!

FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (www.fafsa.ed.gov). Colleges and Universities use the information submitted through FAFSA to determine your student’s eligibility for federal aid, including grants and some scholarships.

Deadlines for priority consideration are as early as February 15th for some schools so there is an urgency to get the information necessary in order. Income verification is one of those necessary items.

The concern for some clients is that although FAFSA requires verification of income by the filing of the 2011 Form 1040, many of the tax information reporting forms needed to file the Form 1040 are not even received by the February FAFSA deadline. To add a little more anxiety, most schools award aid on a first-come, first-served basis so you really don’t want to miss that priority deadline.

No worries - We can help you with those FAFSA needs! FAFSA allows you to calculate your adjusted gross income .and taxes paid using the Form 1040 instructions even if the tax return has not yet been filed. If you are in this situation, please let us know and we can get you in early to help you with the most accurate “estimated” Form 1040 based on the information you have at this time. However, if you do submit the FAFSA application before the return is filed, you may need to make any corrections with FAFSA later if the tax information changes significantly after your information is complete and Form 1040 is filed. In some cases, you may need to provide the school a copy of your completed tax return before any federal student aid can be received.

The State of Idaho also has a FAFSA deadline of March 1st for the Idaho Opportunity Grant. Information can be found at www.boardofed.idaho.gov/scholarship/opportunity.asp. Each school has their own FAFSA deadline so please be sure to check your school’s specific deadline and let us know if we can help.

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