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Apr 13 2009 12:00AM

Question

My daughter goes to a local college and works part-time at a pharmacy. I'd prefer that my daughter's income is used to determine her college financial aid, rather than mine. Should I claim her on my taxes, or should she claim herself? What is better?

Answer

FPA member, Paula H. Hogan, CFP®, CFA of Hogan Financial Management, LLC, said it's quite possible you have no choice but to comply with the information request and have financial aid determined based on that information. In addition, she said there are specific tax rules about claiming or not claiming someone as an exemption that should be considered. Read IRS Publication 17 to learn more about the rules regarding exemptions and dependents.

Hogan said it's not uncommon for schools to ask for a parent's financial information. "Medical schools, for example, require parental financial information and use that information to make decisions up until the student is age 30."

As with many things associated with money, it's wise to consult a financial professional regarding your finances.

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