Can I Get Financial Aid If I Don’t File My Tax Return?

March 3, 2011 | posted by Jeff Sheely.

The following question was submitted to our experts through the Ask the Experts form:

tax return

“I am not a dependent and self-employed, and am not sure yet if I will file a tax return this year (I made under the minimum about needed to file).

Will not filing affect my eligibility for financial aid?”

- David

Hi David,

Thanks for the question. In cases where a student isn’t required to file a tax return, you can still apply for Financial Aid. You’ll simply need to list any income you might have on your FAFSA when you fill it out.

Here are some important tips to remember:

  • Be sure that you do not need to file your tax return. Use the website to determine your tax return requirements.
  • File the FAFSA online. This is the very best way to ensure that you do it correctly and do not miss anything. The online application is guided, and there are prompts and explanations for the questions.
  • There is a specific question on the FAFSA that asks whether or not you were required to file a 1040A or 1040EZ tax return. You can select Yes, No, or I Don’t Know.

You may read the answer to this question in full on the FAFSA website here:

I hope that helps, and please let us know if you have any further questions.

If you have more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below, or use the Ask the Experts form.

Image credit: Phillip Ingham


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