Do I need to have my taxes completed before submitting my FAFSA?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,483
    Financial advisor Brad Barnett discusses whether you need to have your taxes completed before submitting your FAFSA.

    Brad Barnett

    Brad received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Arkansas University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business.  He furthered his education by graduating from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, specializing in Mental Health.  He has been involved in the financial aid and/or rehabilitation professions for the past 15 years. Brad, a Past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for James Madison University.  Immediately prior to JMU, he served as an Assistant Director of the Financial Aid Office at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Brad has presented numerous sessions at state, regional, and national conferences, and has served on a variety of association committees.  In addition to speaking at professional conferences, Brad has conducted an abundance of workshops and presentations in non-conference environments, including teaching a credit based financial literacy course at JMU entitled “Dollars and Sense.”  Many of the topics Brad’s speaks on include communication, leadership, values, financial aid policies and procedures, financial literacy, and saving for college.  He has also facilitated strategic planning and value development retreats.

    Host: Do I need to have my taxes completed before submitting my FAFSA?

    Brad Barnett: The FAFSA is going to ask you for your income information. So, you definitely need that handy when you complete it, but you don t want to miss the priority filing date simply because you are waiting to complete your taxes. Tax time is in April; a lot of schools will ask you to have FAFSA done maybe in February or March. So, if don t have your taxes done by then, you want to use estimated income information on the FAFSA and it will allow to do that, do what ever you can to meet that priority filing date. Then once you actually file your taxes, then you can go in and update the FAFSA with the actual tax information, but don t miss that date.