FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval
Message from OSAC 3/17/17:
The IRS Data Retrieval tool is expected to be down until the next FAFSA cycle (October 1, 2017). We highly encourage students to order a tax-transcripts if they have to manually enter their 2015 tax information on the FAFSA. They are more likely to be selected for verification of tax information and ordering the tax transcript will help put them ahead of the request from the financial aid offices at the college(s). Below is a quick explanation of what NCAN is suggesting students do and a link to the website or form needed to order a tax transcript.
· “NCAN recommends that until the system is available again, families bypass this option and manually enter all the required financial information in both the student and parent sections of the FAFSA. This will allow the form to be completed and submitted.”
· After that, have them order a tax transcript because they are likely to be selected for tax verification.
The deadlines to apply for Oregon Promise are as stated on the website http://oregonstudentaid.gov/oregon-promise.aspx. The deadline for students Graduating High School between March 1, 2017 and August 1, 2017 AND enrolling in college Fall 2017 is July 3rd. If they would like to receive early notification they should apply by April 1st.
Message from the National College Access Network 3/10/17:
Looking ahead, we must help students file their FAFSA without the DRT. NCAN recommends our members do the following:
Assure their students know the FAFSA is still available online. It is important to encourage them to do the FAFSA now and not wait for the return of the DRT, which could be unavailable for the long-term.
Communicate early and often that students will need copies of all of their tax return paperwork. They can retrieve this paperwork from a tax preparer or their tax software if they don't have a copy. Those with no access to a copy should request a tax transcript. Also consider whether your state allows tax filers to retrieve copies from state offices, such as the Office of Tax and Revenue in Washington, D.C., which allows students to obtain copies of transcripts with a letter from a parent and their ID.
Inform students who need to retrieve a tax transcript to do their FAFSA that a transcript can take 10 days to receive in the mail. Many of our low-income families will not qualify for online tax transcript retrieval, which is outlined here.
After their FAFSA is filed, students should request a tax transcript using a 4506-T in preparation for verification of their financial information.
NCAN anticipates increased rates of verification given the lack of availability of pre-verified financial information from the DRT. We join NASFAA in their call on the Education Department to:
Allow signed copies of tax returns from applicants to satisfy verification documentation requirements in place of DRT information or IRS tax transcripts.
Revise the verification selection criteria to provide a more generous tolerance to ensure that the numbers of students selected for verification remains stable and manageable by institutions so that financial aid processing can continue uninterrupted.
NCAN will continue to update members, sending emails when necessary and putting new information, if any, on the NCAN blog. Also, you can follow the play-by-play on Twitter at @collegeaccess.