Policy

​FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool Will Be Offline For Months

Mar 30, 2017

DATA TOOL (STILL) DOWN: The IRS Data Retrieval tool that unexpectedly went down earlier this month will be unavailable until the start of the next FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) season, the Department of Education announced on Thursday. The tool helps students complete the notoriously complicated FAFSA forms by automatically inputting tax data and other required information.

“While this tool provides an important convenience for applicants, we cannot risk the safety of taxpayer data,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in the press release. “Protecting taxpayer data has to be the highest priority, and we will continue working with Federal Student Aid (FSA) to bring this tool back in a safe and secure manner.”

To provide clarity and assistance for students now struggling to complete the FAFSA, members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), which includes senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Tim Kaine, wrote a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos containing six items it’s urging the Department to address while the tool is down. These include providing notice and guidance for students and parents, as well as allowing applicants to “use signed copies of their tax returns to satisfy the document requirements of verification” in lieu of the information the tool would automatically pull. 

Policy

​FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool Will Be Offline For Months

Mar 30, 2017

DATA TOOL (STILL) DOWN: The IRS Data Retrieval tool that unexpectedly went down earlier this month will be unavailable until the start of the next FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) season, the Department of Education announced on Thursday. The tool helps students complete the notoriously complicated FAFSA forms by automatically inputting tax data and other required information.

“While this tool provides an important convenience for applicants, we cannot risk the safety of taxpayer data,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in the press release. “Protecting taxpayer data has to be the highest priority, and we will continue working with Federal Student Aid (FSA) to bring this tool back in a safe and secure manner.”

To provide clarity and assistance for students now struggling to complete the FAFSA, members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), which includes senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Tim Kaine, wrote a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos containing six items it’s urging the Department to address while the tool is down. These include providing notice and guidance for students and parents, as well as allowing applicants to “use signed copies of their tax returns to satisfy the document requirements of verification” in lieu of the information the tool would automatically pull. 

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