How to Answer FAFSA Question #35 and 36: Student & Spouse's Tax Earnings

How to Answer FAFSA Question #35 and 36 Student & Spouse's Tax Earnings

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Questions 35 and 36 ask about earnings (wages, salaries, tips, etc.) in 2021. Answer the questions whether or not a tax return was filed. This information may be found on the W-2 forms or by adding up the following items: IRS Form 1040—line 1 (or IRS Form 1040-NR – line 1a) + Schedule 1—lines 3 + 6 + Schedule K-1 (IRS Form 1065) - Box 14 (Code A). “If a tax form line’s value is negative, treat it as a zero in your calculation."

35. How much did you earn from working in 2021?
How much did your spouse earn from working in 2021?

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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.

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