If you tried to fill out the FAFSA this month, chances are it wasn’t easy. That’s because the IRS Data Retrieval Tool has been disabled. The IRS and Department of Education said in a joint statement last week that it will be several weeks until the tool is back online.
Obviously this is frustrating for the many families trying to meet looming financial aid deadlines, and even more so given the changes to the FAFSA that enabled applicants to use the Data Retrieval Tool rather than entering their information manually.
If you have not yet completed the FAFSA, you will need to enter your income and tax data manually. Once the tool is back online, you’ll be able to download your IRS data and update your FAFSA. And next year, you’ll want to do the FAFSA earlier– the system was working fine until it was taken offline on March 3.