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Financial Aid Alert: Data Retrieval Tool Suspended by IRS

Completing financial aid forms just got a little harder. Until now data from a family’s tax returns could automatically be downloaded from the IRS to complete FAFSA and Profile financial aid forms. But the Department of Education and IRS announced the following financial aid alert: use of the data retrieval tool (DRT) has been suspended by the IRS.

Courtesy of Fred Amrein of EFCPlus.com:

Financial Aid Alert: Data Retrieval Tool Suspended by IRS

The Department of Education made an announcement that the Data Retrieval Tool or DRT is suspended by the IRS due to possible identity theft concerns.  It will remain unavailable for several weeks.  The DRT tool is used to link your FAFSA and IRS information.  The DRT link is to assist the colleges and the Department of Education in reducing financial aid fraud using by an electronic verification process.  The IRS suspended the DRT as a precautionary step after finding misuse by identity thieves. This suspension is part of the effort of the IRS to protect the security of data found within the DRT.

DRT Suspension And FAFSA Submission

During this time, families can still apply for federal aid.  The online FAFSA is still operational and applicants can continue filing their FAFSA.  While the DRT is down a family can manually provide the required financial information to the colleges by submitting the FAFSA and then requesting a tax transcript.

There is no rush to do this since the DRT system may be available shortly and the verification process is not until the May/ June time frame.  Verification is only needed once a student has committed to a college.  It does not need to be done for each college that a student is applying for admission.

Another problem is on the Studentaid.gov website that helps with student loan repayment.  The IRS link was also removed at this time.

We will provide more information on this topic and the steps to request your tax transcript in an upcoming blog.

Click here to view the announcement from the Department of Education.  We will keep you posted when time frames are known for the return of the DRT.

https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/internal-revenue-service-irs-and-us-department-education-office-federal-student-aid-fsa-statement-about-irs-data-retrieval-tool-drt