How to Answer the “Student Filed 2016 Income Tax Return?” Question when Student and Spouse Did Not File a Joint Federal Tax Return

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This is guidance for question 32 on the FAFSA.

The table below can be used to answer the “Student Filed 2016 Income Tax Return?” question if the student and his/her spouse have two different tax filing statuses. For example, a student and his/her spouse may have two different tax filing statuses if they are married and choose to file “married, filing separately.”

If the student… …and the spouse Answer the tax return filing status question:
Already completed Already completed Already completed
Already completed Will file Already completed – The spouse’s tax return information will need to be estimated on the initial application. Once he/she completes his/her tax return, the tax return information will need to be updated as part of a correction.
Already completed Not going to file Already completed
Will file Will file Will file – The student and spouse’s tax return information will need to be estimated on the initial application. Once they complete their tax return(s), the tax return information will need to be updated as part of a correction.
Will file Not going to file Will file - The student’s tax return information will need to be estimated on the initial application. Once he/she completes his/her tax return, the tax return information will need to be updated as part a correction.
Will file Already completed Already completed – The student’s tax return information will need to be estimated on the initial application. Once he/she completes his/her tax return, the tax return information will need to be updated as part of a correction.
Not going to file Already completed Already completed
Not going to file Will file Will file – The spouse’s tax return information will need to be estimated on the initial application. Once he/she completes his/her tax return, the tax return information will need to be updated as part of a correction.
Not going to file Not going to file Not going to file

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