How to Answer FAFSA Question #87: Parents Tax Exemptions

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If your answer to question 59 was “Unmarried and both parents living together,” contact 1-800-433-3243 for assistance with answering questions 80-94.

87.  Enter your parents’ exemptions for 2016. Exemptions are on IRS Form 1040—line 6d or on Form 1040A—line 6d. For Form 1040EZ, see Notes page 9.
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Why are they asking this information?

This question asks about how many exemptions your parent/parents claimed on their tax return, if any. These exemptions are the total amount of personal and dependent exemptions your parent/parents can claim which will help to reduce their overall income by which they’ll be taxed.

How to answer this question / fill out this section

In order to fill out this section, students will need to refer to their parent or parent’s tax form(s) and look to add information from the following spaces for each return:

  • IRS Form 1040 : Use Line 6d
  • IRS Form 1040A: Use Line 6d
  • IRS Form 1040EZ: If they didn't check either box on line 5, enter 1 if they are single or 2 if they are married.

Additional considerations

For the 2018-19 FAFSA-filing and academic year, the IRS Data Retrieval tool will be suspended due to a potential security risk which had been addressed, but not yet resolved. Prior to the suspension, those students and/or parents eligible to use and who choose to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, were able to have their FAFSA income fields automatically populated. The IRS Data Retrieval tool helps make it easier for your parent(s) to quickly and accurately enter their tax return amounts on your FAFSA. Our instructions above guide you to complete the FAFSA without the need for the IRS Data Retrieval. Please check back with this site prior to filing your FAFSA next year for updates regarding the tool.


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