Filling out FAFSA applications can be a nightmare – but can you make the process a little less painful by asking for the help of a CPA? FAFSA involves a massive amount of financial information and nobody knows your financial situation better than a trusted advisor. Here’s the top reasons why a CPA is the best option for help when filling out FAFSA.
What You’ll Need to Fill Out FAFSA
Here are the items you’ll need to fill out FAFSA:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your Alien Registration Number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Your federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of money earned. (Note: You may be able to transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA account using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.)
- Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable)
- Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
- An FSA ID to sign electronically.
Most of the items on this list are items that your CPA will have on file. Even if your CPA doesn’t fill out the form directly they will still be able to provide most of the forms necessary to complete the application.
Start Planning Before FAFSA
If your income is “too high” your child may not be eligible for FAFSA. However, if your income is “too high” you have the advantage of saving for your child’s college fund. Your CPA is the perfect person to consult with about your saving options. There are several tax-free saving options for parents who can invest for their children’s future and let the investment grow tax free.
Does a 529 Plan Impact FAFSA?
Your financial assets may impact your financial aid package however the majority of students receive loans as a form of financial aid. Financial aid that doesn’t have to be paid back is usually reserved for those families with the most need.
Since this is the case, families should not worry about how college saving will impact their financial aid package. The cost of college education can be expensive and saving early is more of a guarantee then hoping FAFSA will provide a full ride.
Consult With a Trusted Professional
Filling out government forms can be difficult and planning for college can be expensive – that’s why you need the help of a trusted advisor. Consult with your CPA to see how they can help with FAFSA and inform you about potential college saving plans.
This material has been provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute either tax or legal advice. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a tax preparer, professional tax advisor, or lawyer. Photo Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_designer491'>designer491 / 123RF Stock Photo