Pop Quiz – Can Verification Be Completed in the Situation?


The school has a student whose father filed taxes as married filing separately and whose mother worked but did not file. The mother did not file an extension and the parents are still married and living together. Can I complete verification for this family?


No, you do not have enough information to proceed with verification. Per Publication 17 (2017), Table 1-1 on page 5, if the filing status is "Married filing separately," anyone of any age who had a gross income of $4,050 or more, must file a return. The first step is to find out how much the mother earned from work, by collecting a W-2 or other equivalent document. If she earned at least $4,050, she likely needs to file a return. 

In the end, if you question the tax filing status of either individual or whether the mother should have filed taxes, the mother will need to provide documentation from the IRS or a tax expert confirming she was not required to file and resolve the conflicting information. Any additional questions must be referred to an IRS representative or other tax expert.

Student Aid Index:

For additional information, try NASFAA's Student Aid Index. It is a central hub of all the important financial aid resources you need with direct links to legislation, regulation, Dear Colleague Letters, and other ED and NASFAA references. It is updated on a rolling basis with the latest news and changes. Search Verification.

Test your financial aid knowledge with past pop quizzes based on real scenarios from financial aid offices on our Pop Quizzes page.


Publication Date: 9/20/2019

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