How to Answer FAFSA Question #38 and 39: Student & Spouse's Tax Earnings

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Questions 38 and 39 ask about earnings (wages, salaries, tips, etc.) in 2019. Answer the questions whether or not a tax return was filed. This information may be on the W-2 forms or on the tax return selected in question 33: IRS Form 1040—lines 7 + 12 + 18 + Box 14 (Code A) of IRS Schedule K-1 (Form 1065); 1040A—line 7; or 1040EZ—line 1. If any individual earning item is negative, do not include that item in your calculation.

38. How much did you earn from working in 2019?
How much did your spouse earn from working in 2019?

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Application Deadline: July 31, 2021

Why are they asking this information?

This question asks you to determine your overall earnings and income for the year. This would include, but is not limited to your wage earnings.

How to answer this question / fill out this section

For either tax return, use the following to impute your earnings:

  • IRS Form 1040: Use Lines 7 + 12 + 18* + Box 14 of IRS Schedule K-1 (Form 1065)
  • IRS Form 1040A: Use Line 7
  • IRS Form 1040EZ: Use Line 1

If you did not file taxes, you will need to enter the figures in Boxes 1 + 8 on your W-2 statement.