What the Suspension of This IRS Tax Tool Means for Students Applying for Financial Aid

"Right now is crunch time for high school seniors and college students all across the country who are applying for financial aid to help cover the cost of college, but a big wrench has been thrown into the middle of the process for some due to the temporary suspension of an IRS tax tool used by many to complete the complex Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form," according to a blog post from NextAdvisor.

"According to a joint statement released on March 9 by the U.S. Education Department and the IRS, the data retrieval tool (DRT), which FAFSA applicants can use to obtain and automatically fill in necessary income tax information, has been temporarily suspended as a measure of precaution due to concerns of misuse by identity thieves. Keep reading to learn how exactly this IRS tax tool can be exploited by cybercriminals, who might be affected by this suspension and what alternatives there are to help students complete their financial aid applications on time. ...

The Education Department reminded FAFSA applicants in its joint statement with the IRS that the online applications for both FAFSA and income-driven repayment plans are still accessible, and people can finish them by inputting the information manually. At this time, there is no available time frame for when the DRT will be back up and running, so students and families should make alternative plans to get the necessary data if they have yet to complete their FAFSA. The president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administration (NASFAA) has called for the Education Department to take steps to help ease the burden now on students’ shoulders, so that there aren’t issues when it comes to deadlines and difficulty completing the FAFSA."

NASFAA's "Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.

 

Publication Date: 3/27/2017

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