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kstill20
New Member

Does filing taxes together as a married couple affect financial aid?

We recently got married and deciding how we should file our taxes.  My husband is in grad school and we are worried that if we file together that his financial aid will be affected for the upcoming year.  Does filing together effect the amount of financial aid awarded? 

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SeanE1
New Member

Does filing taxes together as a married couple affect financial aid?

Married couples have the option of filing their tax returns as married filing jointly or married filing separately. When you file jointly, both of your incomes are combined.  When you file separately, you file two separate tax returns with each of your incomes filed separately. Federal Financial Aid requires that you report both spouses’ income, regardless of your filing methods. So this means that if you filed separately, you must still report your income and your spouse’s income on your FAFSA.

In addition, taxpayers who file separate tax returns are ineligible for education tax deductions and credits. So if you file a separate return you will not be eligible for the student loan interest deduction, the Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning tax credits.

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3 Replies
SeanE1
New Member

Does filing taxes together as a married couple affect financial aid?

Married couples have the option of filing their tax returns as married filing jointly or married filing separately. When you file jointly, both of your incomes are combined.  When you file separately, you file two separate tax returns with each of your incomes filed separately. Federal Financial Aid requires that you report both spouses’ income, regardless of your filing methods. So this means that if you filed separately, you must still report your income and your spouse’s income on your FAFSA.

In addition, taxpayers who file separate tax returns are ineligible for education tax deductions and credits. So if you file a separate return you will not be eligible for the student loan interest deduction, the Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning tax credits.

MikeP56
New Member

Does filing taxes together as a married couple affect financial aid?

The initial response indicated if a married couple file as Married Filing Seperately both incomes need to be included in the FAFSA application.  However, it did not indicate if it will impact the FAFSA financial aid calculations for the spouse with the lesser income.  My income is substantially less than my partner and we may consider delaying our marriage until after I have completed my undergraduate degree if it will cause a significant negative impact to the financial aid I have been receiving.  Any clarification on the potential impact to a FAFSA filing under these circumstances would be greatly appreciated.

xmasbaby0
Level 15

Does filing taxes together as a married couple affect financial aid?

You should be asking FAFSA.  This is a forum where we answer income tax questions, not questions about student financial aid.

**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**
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