Friday, April 9, 2010

Come on and file, already!!


This is going to be a rant. I don't know if it will be a mini-rant or a maxi-rant. But here goes.

Our middle child, Samantha, is in college....her 5th year, but that is another story. She will be going at least the first semester next year. I have always claimed her as a dependent on our taxes and filled out her FAFSA for financial aid. Lest anyone think that I was screwing Sam's "real mom" out of a deduction, every year, I told Sam to ask if her mom wanted to claim her and take care of the FAFSA. Every year the answer was a resounding "NO."

I always filed our tax return as early as possible, so I could file the FAFSA as early as possible, since financial aid is "first come, first served" and we wanted Samantha to get all that was available. And she has. Her first 4 years, she got enough money to pay for all her school expenses, plus some extra. Part of her aid was work-study, so she did work for some of it.

Last April, 2 MONTHS AFTER I HAD FILED OUR RETURN AND THE FAFSA, Sam's mom sent me an email that she would be claiming Samantha as a dependent for 2008. I responded that I was sorry, but we already filed and had received our refund. And told her that I had asked Sam, prior to filing, if her mom wanted to claim her and file the FAFSA, to which Sam reponded no.

Sam's mom graciously decided that she would not claim Sam for 2008, as she didn't want to "screw up Sam's financial aid." (Ummmmm....TOO LATE...we already claimed her!) BUT she informed me that she WOULD be claiming Sam for 2009. I responded that that was fine with me. And I told her that she could have claimed Samantha any year that she was willing to file the FAFSA. I got not response to that.

Fast forward to December, 2009. I sent an email to Sam and her mom, giving them the URL and all the information regarding filing the FAFSA. When I didn't hear back from Sam's mom, I sent her another message asking her to confirm that she received it. She confirmed. End of my responsibility. Yeah, no more FAFSA!!

So, I have talked to Samantha mulitple times since then, and usually financial aid would come up. Sam would say that her mom had not filed her tax return or the FAFSA, but Sam was really excited since her mom promised to give Sam half of any extra refund she gets by claiming Samantha. So, Samantha is expecting this big windfall from her mom.

Last Friday, we saw Sam and her boyfriend and I asked if Samantha had gotten HER tax return filed, since she and her bf had talked about filing it on TaxAct. Samantha said, "No, I gave it to Mom. She is going to have her tax guy do it." WHAT?????? Sam's return is the simplest thing to do and she could have had her money back MONTHS ago!!

Not only that, her mom HAS NOT FILED HER RETURN YET. Nor has she filed the FAFSA!! OMG!! I hope Samantha gets SOME money for next year, but I am not going to be surprised if it doesn't happen. I have been hearing about college costs going up and aid going down.

Not only that. I did my best to make our income seem really low, so as to get the most aid for Sam. Like I put 20% of my income in my 401K, 5% in a pre tax FSA. And hubby has not worked in about 3 years. So we had 3 dependents and one income.

I would guess that Sam's mom makes around the same amount of money that I do, but does NOT save money and will only have 2 dependents. So there is no telling what that will do to Sam.

Oh, well, at least the cow got an extra deduction on her tax return.

Rant over.

21 comments:

McVal said...

Oh man!!! I can feel your frustration. You just want to say, "Please do it, won't you?" every day...
I hope she's able to get financial aid for next year.

Frances said...

Well, my feeling is if Sam does not get enough aid, then her mom can make up the difference since her inaction is probably the reason.

yonca said...

Hope she gets enough financial aid next year.
Have a great weekend Frances!

Frances said...

Thanks for coming by, Yonca! You have a good weekend, too!

Pam said...

That stinks. Some people just do not take their responsibilities seriously.

Keli said...

:( Sorry that you have to deal with this. I agree with you that if she doesn't get enough aid her mom should make up the difference. :) But that's just me. :D Have a great weekend!!

Letherton said...

Hope she gets financial aid for next year

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Queenie Jeannie said...

My daughter has been having a terrible time with financial aid. It has pretty much just all dried up!!!

Jules said...

That is really unfortunate.

Hoping Sam is able to come up with some good financial aid, though, despite the crazy-procrastinating situation.

Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas

SonyaAnn said...

Please claim ANNA!!! The Ithchba has no idea what she has done. It is taking our ENTIRE family to file all of this crap. I sit down with my inlaws and we try and figure it out. MY FIL is a CPA but the computer is his nemesis. He has done it before and knows what he is doing but I still have to have all of the documents and I'm trying to learn how to do it just in case.
I don't blame you for being pissed! But you did right by her and hub's ex-itchba. Let them fall at least the majority of the bills have been covered. Once the money is due maybe they will get it. I doubt it but still!
And the deduction from what I can tell is almost nothing when you get financial aid so it won't be some huge check!
Please, take Anna and then DJ. I would do almost anything to get out of all of this paper work!

Frances said...

Thanks for stopping by, Pam. Unfortunately, the kids' mom has always been more concerned about what benefitted her and didn't worry so much abou the kids. I am just hoping that it is not to Sam's detriment this time.

Frances said...

Keli, I am in total agreement. I always did my best to make sure Sam got plenty of finaid. Now it's in her mom's court to deal with it.

Frances said...

Hi, Letherton! Thanks for coming by. I will definitely come visit your blog!

Frances said...

Hi, Jeannie! Thanks for coming by. I am sorry your daughter is having such a terrible time. It seems like finaid is drying up. So sad for our kids!

Frances said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jules! And thanks for the good thoughts for Sam.

Frances said...

Hi, SonyaAnn. Sorry you are having such a tough time. I had the FAFSA down to a science, so though it was time consuming, I haven't found it hard after the first couple of years. It will get easier I promise.

And having Sam as a deduction has not helped us at all the last couple of years. Last year, she got $2000 more aid than her school expenses and WE had to pay tax on it!

Diane said...

What a frustration. Hope it all works out.
Blessings
Diane

Frances said...

Thanks for coming to see me, Diane! Have a great week!

SonyaAnn said...

Really, you need to fill this out! Oh, I know what you need to do.(I've appointed myself your life coach!) Start up a business helping people with FAFSA and any other grants or scholarships! I'm first in line!

Frances said...

LOL! SonyaAnn at being my new life coach. I could use one right now.

Beleive it or not, there are businesses that take care of the FAFSA and finaid applications for you....for a hefty fee.

SonyaAnn said...

Right but do it a lot cheaper and then you could get away from your job, too! See I do have a plan for you.