How To File Zero Income Tax Return – You can fill out a FAFSA, also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, without a tax return in certain situations recognized by the government. We explain how you can still complete and submit your FAFSA and apply for aid without a tax return for yourself or your parents.
The purpose of providing tax return information on the FAFSA is to help give the government an idea of your financial situation to determine your need for assistance. However, there may be reasons why you do not have access to the required tax returns, or have no returns at all.
How To File Zero Income Tax Return
First, let’s review whose tax information may be needed to complete the FAFSA. If you, the student, are a dependent of your parent, you will need information from your parent’s tax return. If you have personal income, you may also need to file a personal income tax return and use that information in the application.
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Be sure to visit our College Student Tax Guide and learn about student forms that can be filed for free.
First, let’s review the FAFSA tax return requirements and what tax information may be needed to complete it.
If you, the student, are a dependent of your parent, you will need information from your parent’s tax return. If you have personal income, you may also need to file an income tax return and use that information in the application. (Note: Being a dependent means something specific for taxes. Find out if parents can claim a college student as a dependent.)
Don’t worry about not having the real return. In the next section we cover how to apply for FAFSA without a tax return.
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Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to enter that information line by line. Thanks to the IRS data retrieval tool, most people can add their information automatically. Learn more about data recovery tool.
If you’re trying to complete the FAFSA without a tax return, you’re not alone. This is a common concern. In fact, some wonder how they can complete the FAFSA without income or if they have to file taxes just for the FAFSA.
Depending on your personal situation, how you work to prevent yourself from having a return will be different. Below we outline some situations.
You can’t locate your return: You can access your return through your tax preparer or the Get Transcript tool from the IRS. H&R Block customers can use this article to find previous tax returns.
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You still have to file your return: In the past, the dates that the FAFSA was available and the specific year of tax return information needed made it difficult for those trying to get their application in early. Fortunately, the government made changes to the process in 2015 that allowed an earlier filing date and also allowed an older tax return to be used.
For the 2021 FAFSA, you will use your 2019 tax return. With the new schedule, most taxpayers will file before the application period opens each year on October 1. The extended tax filing deadline is usually October 15th, so if you requested a tax return extension, you could file the request anytime between the regular April 15th. deadline and on October 15 the deadline was extended.
If you need the full extension period to complete your taxes, you may not have the tax return information in time to submit your FAFSA sooner.
If applicable, you can indicate “Will file” on the form and can use a pay slip from the end of December and the previous year’s income tax return to provide estimates for questions about your income if they are similar. If your incomes are not similar, you can use the Income Estimator available when you complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.gov.
Be On The Outlook For Tax Reporting Forms
Once you file your return, you must update your FAFSA from “Will File” to “Already Completed” and enter your final amounts.
You or your parents are not required to file: Those with little or no income have asked if they can pay zero ($0) income tax and still file a FAFSA. If you or your parents’ income is below the minimum amount to file taxes, you can choose the “Will not file” option when you complete the FAFSA. However, you will need to provide any W-2, 1099, or final pay stub received for that specific year.
Your parents are not citizens and do not live in the United States.– If your parents do not live in the United States, you may choose “Foreign country” as the answer to the question about their legal residence status. Additionally, you can select “Foreign Tax Return” in response to the question about the type of return you filed.
Our tax professionals are available to help. They are dedicated to learning the nuances of taxes and can help you understand your return.
Solved Taxable Income. Subtract Line 14 From Line 11 . If
Find tax filing tips that can increase your refund with H&R Block. We have 60 years of experience. Jackson Hewitt’s senior vice president of tax services, Mark Steber, explains how Biden’s proposed tax hikes could affect “The Claman Countdown” returns.
When it comes to filing your taxes, you pretty much have two options. You can pay an accountant to file your taxes for you or do your taxes for you and submit them by email or through electronic software.
If paying an accountant isn’t a financial option, here’s a step-by-step guide to filing your taxes.
The first step is to gather all your documents. To file, you’ll need W-2 forms from all employers you’ve had in the past year. You’ll also need to gather any 1099 forms you have, if applicable. These forms are issued for work done independently, according to NewsCore.
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The first step to tax filing is gathering all the necessary documentation, including all income forms from the past year. This includes both W-2 and 1099 forms. (iStock / iStock)
According to a tax checklist from H&R Block, if you are or have been unemployed, you will need your 1099-G form. You will need additional forms if you are self-employed, receive rental income or have retirement income and/or any investment information.
According to H&R Block, you’ll also need to look at the types of deductions you qualify for. This includes if you own a home, have donated money, have any medical or childcare expenses, educational expenses, classroom expenses, retirement savings, etc. Everyone’s situation is different, so be sure to check the IRS website and be sure to submit all the necessary information.
Once you have everything together, you can start presenting. Although not the most popular method, you can still fill out your forms the old-fashioned way and mail them to the IRS. The most common and effective way to file is electronically. According to the Motley Fool, there are many reasons why filing your taxes electronically is a better option.
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Filing your taxes electronically is the fastest way to send your information to the IRS and will result in a faster refund from you. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)
If you file electronically, there is no chance of your forms getting lost in the mail. Plus, the process goes much faster when you file electronically, which means that if you’re getting a tax refund, it will arrive sooner.
There is also a bit more precision with electronic filing. If you make a mistake, something as simple as misspelling your name or missing a digit of your Social Security number, you’ll know right away and you can resubmit. If you file by mail, you won’t know you made a mistake until the IRS reviews your forms, which means there could be a delay in your filing and your refund. According to the IRS, if there is an error on your taxes, it can take more than 120 days to process your refund.
One of the most popular types of software used to file taxes electronically is TurboTax. This service may not be free depending on how complicated your tax situation is, according to the website.
State Income Tax
If you have a simple tax return, you can file your taxes for free through TurboTax. If your return is more complicated, you will not be able to use the free version and will have to pay a fee for the service, depending on the complexity of your tax situation.
Although electronic filing is the most popular and fastest way to file, you can still fill out the forms by hand and mail them. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/Getty Images)
Another option for filing taxes online is to use the IRS Free File Tool on the IRS website. You can use this tool if your adjusted gross income is $73,000 or less, according to the IRS.
No matter how you choose to file, if you have a question or get stuck along the way, more than likely you can find an answer on the IRS website. Copyright © 2023, Los Angeles Times | Terms of service
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