Filing taxes promises to be pretty routine this year. Few changes in the tax law mean most taxpayers will focus on the usual last-minute tactics—deferring income, taking losses and finding deductible expenses.
The exception? If you have a child in high school, college or graduate school looking to receive financial aid, you'll want to pay special attention to recently announced changes in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program.
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The FAFSA is used by the federal government and colleges to determine how much aid a student receives each year. Last month the government announced that it will start accepting FAFSA applications three months earlier for the 2017-18 academic year. That means students and their families will be able to submit applications as early as Oct. 1, 2016, rather than waiting to Jan. 1, 2017.