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Good News! – Short Reprieve For Data Retrieval Tool Requirement

Over the course of the past few weeks, CheapScholar.org has been covering the implementation of the new IRS Data Retrieval Tool that has been incorporated into the FAFSA filing process. The concept of making the information gathering process easier is a noble one but there has certainly been some challenges along the way.

Here are some of the informative DRT articles graciously provided by Mr. Randy Green, Financial Aid Director at Wittenberg University:

Digging up “DRT” on the New FAFSA IRS Linking Tool

Unearthing More “DRT” on IRS FAFSA Data Retrieval Tool

Based upon the amount of traffic we have seen and the number of comments and emails that have been received, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool has certainly been a hot topic for families and students.

In an effort to keep our readers up-to-speed with information related to the DRT, I wanted to share with you the most recent announcement provided by the Department of Education. It appears that a temporary reprieve from the DRT requirement is being provided through July 15th.

Below are some excerpts from the announcement letter. However, you can click here to see the entire document. Hope this helps!

As the April tax deadline approaches, we are aware that some students and families may not be able to immediately use the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval Tool or to obtain IRS Tax Return Transcripts needed to complete the verification process primarily because of the large volume of tax returns coming in at this time of year.

In the limited set of cases where an aid applicant, who has filed a tax return and attempted unsuccessfully to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or to obtain IRS Tax Return transcripts, needs a timely alternative for meeting the 2012-2013 verification requirements, institutions may, until July 15, 2012, use a signed copy of the relevant (i.e., applicant, spouse, or parent) 2011 IRS Tax Return (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ, as appropriate) as acceptable verification documentation for the 2012-2013 award year.

After July 15, 2012, institutions must comply with the acceptable documentation requirements included in the July 13, 2011 Federal Register notice and in DCL GEN-11-13.

The Department will require some institutions to obtain verification documentation in compliance with the current acceptable documentation requirements for a sample of the institution’s students whose information was verified using a paper copy of a tax return.

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