March 10, 2017
The U.S. Department of Education made an announcement today regarding the IRS Data Retrieval Tool which is impacting FAFSA filers for both 2016-17 and 2017-18. Please see below for more information:
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool on FAFSA.gov and StudentLoans.gov is currently unavailable. We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. However, at this time, the IRS anticipates the online data tool will be unavailable for several weeks.
This does not limit families’ ability to apply for aid. Applicants have other options while the data tool is unavailable. Applicants filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) or applying for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan can manually provide the requested financial information from copies of their tax returns. The online FAFSA and IDR application remain operational, and applicants can continue filing the FAFSA or applying for an IDR plan as they normally would.
As part of a wider, ongoing effort at the IRS to protect the security of data, the IRS decided to temporarily suspend the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) as a precautionary step following concerns that information from the tool could potentially be misused by identity thieves. The scope of the issue is being explored, and the IRS and FSA are jointly investigating the issue. At this point, we believe the issue is relatively isolated, and no additional action is needed by taxpayers or people using these applications. The IRS and FSA are actively working on a way to further strengthen the security of information provided by the DRT. We will provide additional information when we have a specific timeframe for returning the DRT or other details to share.