TheElement

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I know it's probably a little early for this but I've been trying to figure out if I needed to file my income taxes. My first job started in the fiscal year of 2008 and I made less than $3k (tutoring gig). I tried calling the IRS to get some answers and after being on hold for like an hour... I gave up. Should I file my taxes if I'm still a dependent and make that little?

Oh and another thing, after I checked the box where it says that I will be attending medical school this fall, they said I could state myself as an independent? Would this be better for getting more favorable loans?
 

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I know it's probably a little early for this but I've been trying to figure out if I needed to file my income taxes. My first job started in the fiscal year of 2008 and I made less than $3k (tutoring gig). I tried calling the IRS to get some answers and after being on hold for like an hour... I gave up. Should I file my taxes if I'm still a dependent and make that little?

Oh and another thing, after I checked the box where it says that I will be attending medical school this fall, they said I could state myself as an independent? Would this be better for getting more favorable loans?
If you had taxes withheld, yes. Otherwise, no.

Do you have a credit history? Do your parents? How's their credit.
 

ar2388

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i would just take the papers you got from work and give them to your parents' accountant... thats what i do. she decides if i need to file and what kind of tax return to file, etc..
 
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flip26

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I know it's probably a little early for this but I've been trying to figure out if I needed to file my income taxes. My first job started in the fiscal year of 2008 and I made less than $3k (tutoring gig). I tried calling the IRS to get some answers and after being on hold for like an hour... I gave up. Should I file my taxes if I'm still a dependent and make that little?

Oh and another thing, after I checked the box where it says that I will be attending medical school this fall, they said I could state myself as an independent? Would this be better for getting more favorable loans?
For FAFSA purposes, it is assumed that all post college students are "independent" regardless if they are still claimed as dependents on their parents' taxes...nonetheless, med schools will request your parents' tax info no matter what your actual situation is...

As for filing taxes...the simplest thing to do, I think, is go to Turbotax and open a free file - plug in your info - and it will tell you if you need to file or not before requiring you to pay (and Turbotax is free for computing Federal taxes for an income level that low, but the state return may cost you). However, you don't actually pay Turbotax anything unless you actually complete the returns, so finding out if you need to file is free...

The income level for filing as a dependent is lower than it is if you file as independent...I think you probably will need to file, and you want to file for sure if any of your income was withheld for income tax purposes and you are due a refund...
 

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i would just take the papers you got from work and give them to your parents' accountant... thats what i do. she decides if i need to file and what kind of tax return to file, etc..
must be nice. :rolleyes:

turbotax does federal for free, most of the state info is based on it, so you can fill in the blanks.
 

TheElement

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If you had taxes withheld, yes. Otherwise, no.

Do you have a credit history? Do your parents? How's their credit.
Hmm, it turns out that I made less than 2k. My with-holding tax was about $36.24. I've had a credit card for about a year now and have managed a couple of loans throughout undergrad (Stafford subsidized though). I'm guess ing I'll probably have to file.

As for an accountant, my dad always does our own taxes and he says he doesn't know what to do in my case.

The Turbotax idea sounds neat. I'll give it a try! Since I live in Texas, I won't have to worry about the state level.
 

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Hmm, it turns out that I made less than 2k. My with-holding tax was about $36.24. I've had a credit card for about a year now and have managed a couple of loans throughout undergrad (Stafford subsidized though). I'm guess ing I'll probably have to file.

As for an accountant, my dad always does our own taxes and he says he doesn't know what to do in my case.
do the paperwork, get the $36 back. :cool:

you may need a cosigner for a private loan. for a stafford i don't think you do.
 

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You can file as an independent but most schools require your parents information anyway for NEED based scholarships. So I'm just letting my dad fill out what he fills out and there you go.
Can't help on the taxes. My dad may be a deadbeat, but he does my taxes every year.
 

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I have no problem with doing the FAFSA, but I hate having to coordinate with my parents (who have never supported me). At least I only have to do this four times...
 

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after i file the fafsa, can i add more schools?
 

TheElement

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after i file the fafsa, can i add more schools?
I'm sure you can, they let you edit your FAFSA even after it's been processed. I put all the schools that I figured I will attend or "might" get into onto my FAFSA.
 

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I figure I'll ask my FAFSA question here instead of flooding the forum with these topics:

I just started working this past year (2008), and I have a W-2 form, but I have no 1040 form. How do I know what my adjusted gross income is?

As you might be able to tell, I'm completely new to all this :p
 

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another question: i don't have my w2 form yet so how can I say how much i'll have to pay? i've had money withheld from my paycheck, and will most likely get a refund... do i have to wait til i get the w2? i'm also very new to this
 
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flip26

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another question: i don't have my w2 form yet so how can I say how much i'll have to pay? i've had money withheld from my paycheck, and will most likely get a refund... do i have to wait til i get the w2? i'm also very new to this
Wait for the W2 - they are required by law to mail it to you by the end of January...if you don't get it, call them...
 
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Hmm, it turns out that I made less than 2k. My with-holding tax was about $36.24. I've had a credit card for about a year now and have managed a couple of loans throughout undergrad (Stafford subsidized though). I'm guess ing I'll probably have to file.

As for an accountant, my dad always does our own taxes and he says he doesn't know what to do in my case.

The Turbotax idea sounds neat. I'll give it a try! Since I live in Texas, I won't have to worry about the state level.
i'm quite sure you don't need to file a return if you earned less than $2000 last year but of course if you do file you will most likely get your 36 bucks back. just be careful not to claim yourself as independent if your parents are claiming you as a dependent. When i was in college i earned about the same as you and always filed a 1040EZ (which is the short version of the tax form) to get back the few bucks they took withheld from me :D

I figure I'll ask my FAFSA question here instead of flooding the forum with these topics:

I just started working this past year (2008), and I have a W-2 form, but I have no 1040 form. How do I know what my adjusted gross income is?

As you might be able to tell, I'm completely new to all this :p
your adjusted gross income is your income minus any deductions you make on your taxes. the 1040 form is the tax form you fill out and send to the IRS...as suggested above, use turbotax, it's really easy
 

nina7123

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So FAFSA says I'm independent...but I know that med schools require parental info.

Does this mean that I should include my parents info on my FAFSA (in which case I'll qualify for less aid, I think...) or do I give parental info to the schools another way?

I'm so lost already. This is sad
 

Excelsius

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another question: i don't have my w2 form yet so how can I say how much i'll have to pay? i've had money withheld from my paycheck, and will most likely get a refund... do i have to wait til i get the w2? i'm also very new to this

For taxes, they do need to see your W2; however, FAFSA does not require precise amounts. All you need is an approximation. That's what I do. I am probably going to file my FAFSA today even though I am not going to do my taxed until October 15. If I recall correctly, the earlier you file FAFSA, the more benefits you'll get. This is probably because the early filing allows you to obtain funds from your school before they decrease later in the year.

For those of us in CA, have to remember to do Calgrant. I think the deadline is in March.
 

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i would just take the papers you got from work and give them to your parents' accountant... thats what i do. she decides if i need to file and what kind of tax return to file, etc..
There are free tax programs online for low income filers. That should be done instead. Even if paying for a software like Turbotax, it is still much cheaper than the $100 for accountant.

Taxes are very simple, unless you want to do Schedule C. But even that you can do with Turbotax. As self-employed (tutoring), you can make a lot of deductions so that you end up paying taxes only on 50% of your income ($1500). Some of your school expenses, like tuition, are deductible as well. Your schools should send you this paper at the end of every fiscal year.
 
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235009

I tried calling the IRS to get some answers and after being on hold for like an hour... I gave up.
wait, you CALLED the IRS to ask them a question? seriously?

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh: :laugh::laugh::laugh: :laugh::laugh::laugh:

everything is online btw....if you're willing to sit there and sift through tons of papers and convoluted BS
 

Excelsius

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But the website says that Calgrant is only for undergraduates...
I was talking about financial aid generally, not specifically for medical school. I don't know if Calgrant applies to medschool. You're probably right that it doesn't. Though now I am wondering if you could get Calgrant for medschool if you didn't receive all four years of it in undergrad.
 

kac714

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For taxes, they do need to see your W2; however, FAFSA does not require precise amounts. All you need is an approximation. That's what I do. I am probably going to file my FAFSA today even though I am not going to do my taxed until October 15. If I recall correctly, the earlier you file FAFSA, the more benefits you'll get. This is probably because the early filing allows you to obtain funds from your school before they decrease later in the year.

For those of us in CA, have to remember to do Calgrant. I think the deadline is in March.
so could i just put the amount thats already been taken out of my paycheck?
 

Excelsius

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so could i just put the amount thats already been taken out of my paycheck?
Yes, that should be a good approximation. Also, depending where you work, you often have access to all your W2 information even though the year-end calculations have not been sent to you. I use Quicken and all my income is recorded, so even without W2 the approximation is actually precise. You too probably know how much money you have made.
 
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kac714

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Yes, that should be a good approximation. Also, depending where you work, you often have access to all your W2 information even though the year-end calculations have not been sent to you. I use Quicken and all my income is recorded, so even without W2 the approximation is actually precise. You too probably know how much money you have made.
thank you SOOOO much!!
 

gatorguy

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So FAFSA says I'm independent...but I know that med schools require parental info.

Does this mean that I should include my parents info on my FAFSA (in which case I'll qualify for less aid, I think...) or do I give parental info to the schools another way?

I'm so lost already. This is sad

I'm curious about this as well. Any help?
 

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I'm curious about this as well. Any help?
you'll have to put it on the fafsa. there's a question that says do you want to be dependent anyway.
 

kac714

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i didn't put it in the fafsa... my parents make way too much so i didnt want it taken into consdieration. theres no way i will get need based money.
 

cast128

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Yes....Most private schools (Georgetown, Boston U, etc) require that you provide parental information on your FAFSA regardless. Most state schools do not require that you include parental information. If you fail to provide parental information to the private schools that require it good luck getting any financial aid from them
 

kac714

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Yes....Most private schools (Georgetown, Boston U, etc) require that you provide parental information on your FAFSA regardless. Most state schools do not require that you include parental information. If you fail to provide parental information to the private schools that require it good luck getting any financial aid from them
right, but my parents make like 750k/yr, what school would give me money? that's why i didn't put it. they arent paying for med school.
 

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Yes....Most private schools (Georgetown, Boston U, etc) require that you provide parental information on your FAFSA regardless. Most state schools do not require that you include parental information. If you fail to provide parental information to the private schools that require it good luck getting any financial aid from them
Well they have to know who to send the loan-sharks out to, duh.
 

dally1025

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For the FAFSA you must include your parents' tax info on the form unless you're independent. You are considered independent if:
  1. Be 24 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year;
  2. Be an orphan (both parents deceased), ward of the court, or was a ward of the court until the age of 18;
  3. Be a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. Be a graduate or professional student;
  5. Be a married individual;
  6. Have legal dependents other than a spouse;
  7. Be a student for whom a financial aid administrator makes a documented determination of independence by reason of other unusual circumstances.
Also, if you make less than $32,000 a year (I think that's the number) you can do your taxes online for free through turbotax, H & R Block, any of those sites. Last year I filled out my return on a couple and filed my return with the company that gave me the largest return. It's incredibly easy and there's no need to pay someone to do it for you unless you have a complex financial situation.
 

cast128

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right, but my parents make like 750k/yr, what school would give me money? that's why i didn't put it. they arent paying for med school.
Yeah and my parents make around 500k/year. I don't like the fact that I have to put my parental information on the damn form but its a REQUIREMENT for certain private schools. I actually contacted Boston University and Georgetown about this and they told me that I would not be evaluated for financial aid unless I provided parental information. Just a heads up.
 

kac714

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Yeah and my parents make around 500k/year. I don't like the fact that I have to put my parental information on the damn form but its a REQUIREMENT for certain private schools. I actually contacted Boston University and Georgetown about this and they told me that I would not be evaluated for financial aid unless I provided parental information. Just a heads up.
Well I didn't apply to those and all my others are state schools. Thanks for the input tho
Also I'm 24, and have been independent since i graduated college, so according to dally and the fafsa worksheet i didn't. so maybe its different if youre still a dependent.
 
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Kaustikos

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Yeah and my parents make around 500k/year. I don't like the fact that I have to put my parental information on the damn form but its a REQUIREMENT for certain private schools. I actually contacted Boston University and Georgetown about this and they told me that I would not be evaluated for financial aid unless I provided parental information. Just a heads up.
That's not the point. They'll still give you the money if they make 1 million a year.
 

TheElement

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wait, you CALLED the IRS to ask them a question? seriously?

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh: :laugh::laugh::laugh: :laugh::laugh:

everything is online btw....if you're willing to sit there and sift through tons of papers and convoluted BS
Yeahhhh ... fatal mistake. I tried digging through their website but it seemed like everything was like If A, then do B, if not B, then do C, and perhaps maybe G. I thought calling them would be easier....

But yeah thanks for everyone's responses!! :)
 

Kaustikos

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Yeahhhh ... fatal mistake. I tried digging through their website but it seemed like everything was like If A, then do B, if not B, then do C, and perhaps maybe G. I thought calling them would be easier....

But yeah thanks for everyone's responses!! :)
Everything tax-related is convoluted for our convenience
 

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That's not the point. They'll still give you the money if they make 1 million a year.
Damn, if your parents make 500 and 750 /yr, why the hell can't they help? Draw up a loan agreement with them and leave the need based aid for kids who've been supporting their 6-member family since grade school.
 

TheElement

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Damn, if your parents make 500 and 750 /yr, why the hell can't they help? Draw up a loan agreement with them and leave the need based aid for kids who've been supporting their 6-member family since grade school.
Yeah I'm kinda doing something like that with my parents for undergrad. Interest free loans! :D
 

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kac714

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ok, question. I'm independent. Do I need to provide parental info to get stafford loans? what about other unsubsidized loans?
 

ar2388

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i believe it is that if you only want to be considered for federal loans and aid then you do not need your parents' info, but if you want to be considered for school need-based aid then you need parental info...
at least thats what the mount sinai fin aid guy said during the lengthy discussion
 

236116

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ok, question. I'm independent. Do I need to provide parental info to get stafford loans? what about other unsubsidized loans?
i believe it is that if you only want to be considered for federal loans and aid then you do not need your parents' info, but if you want to be considered for school need-based aid then you need parental info...
For federal aid, if you are independent, you do not need parental info.

For school aid, you may be required to provide it. The schools use the FAFSA, but I think the Feds still disregard the parental info.
 

kac714

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For federal aid, if you are independent, you do not need parental info.

For school aid, you may be required to provide it. The schools use the FAFSA, but I think the Feds still disregard the parental info.
ok awesome. that clarifies things alot, thanks! now i can worry about important things, like getting in :)
 

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So this is my first time being able to apply for FAFSA. Im Kenyan and I became a permanent resident in August ...SO question is: Do I apply for both 2008-2009 to 2009-2010 using 2007's tax info for the 2008-2009 application and then estimating for the 2009-2010 until I can update?

Ive been looking around for this. I feel ignorant :cool: about the whole process since I havent been able to apply until now. I started school fall 2008 by the way...Most people ive asked have answers only for people who start college in 2009....


Hopefully someone here can actually give an answer that makes sense. The above seems reasonable but id like to hear what you guys have to say...
 

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So this is my first time being able to apply for FAFSA. Im Kenyan and I became a permanent resident in August ...SO question is: Do I apply for both 2008-2009 to 2009-2010 using 2007's tax info for the 2008-2009 application and then estimating for the 2009-2010 until I can update?

Hopefully someone here can actually give an answer that makes sense. The above seems reasonable but id like to hear what you guys have to say...
You use 2007 for the 08-09 (you have until June). If the info is the same, you can just use the same numbers for 09-10, or shift as necessary. Once you've done your taxes, you'll have to go back in and correct with the real numbers.
 

skijumpbump

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This thread is great, I was thinking about starting one of these today because FAFSA just became available today.

My question is that I am an independent student, but I believe that my state school requires parental information. Now my parents are divorced, do I have to provide both of their information for the school? One of my parents makes significantly more money then the other. It will be in my best interest to only provide the information from my parent with a smaller income. So does anyone know what an independent student with divorced parents is required to fill out on their FAFSA.
 

funkymunkytoes

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My dad works for the government, and won't get his tax returns until mid-March. I know it's best to get the FAFSA out early, but how is that even possible since employers aren't legally obligated to get the info out until that late? Can I use my dad's 2007 tax information, or do I have to wait until mid-March to fill out FAFSA? Also, how early are you guys getting this stuff out?
 

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Damn, if your parents make 500 and 750 /yr, why the hell can't they help? Draw up a loan agreement with them and leave the need based aid for kids who've been supporting their 6-member family since grade school.
My parents make 500k a year, but they kicked me out after college :laugh:.
 

236116

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My question is that I am an independent student, but I believe that my state school requires parental information. Now my parents are divorced, do I have to provide both of their information for the school? One of my parents makes significantly more money then the other. It will be in my best interest to only provide the information from my parent with a smaller income. So does anyone know what an independent student with divorced parents is required to fill out on their FAFSA.
Whoever last provided the most support is the parent you should use. Your school is allowed to consider circumstances provided you provide documentation.

My dad works for the government, and won't get his tax returns until mid-March. I know it's best to get the FAFSA out early, but how is that even possible since employers aren't legally obligated to get the info out until that late? Can I use my dad's 2007 tax information, or do I have to wait until mid-March to fill out FAFSA? Also, how early are you guys getting this stuff out?
If the numbers are the same, just use the old ones. If things have changed, you can estimate. Once your FAFSA is processed, you can submit a correction.

I did my FAFSA today, with numbers from my last available paystub-- that's all I've got. :rolleyes:
 

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sorry to beat this to death but: I submitted my fafsa with just my info (my parents are in puerto rico for a couple weeks). if whatever school i go to requires it, can i add their info by doing a correction?
 
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