Joint Statement of the IRS and the U.S. Department of Education:
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.
Forbes, IRS Data Retrieval Tool Outage Brings Applying For College Financial Aid To A Halt:
The IRS tool that sends parents' and students' tax data to the online filing system for the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been taken offline for security concerns, derailing the aid application (FAFSA) process and causing a mess for students and colleges nationwide.
Fiscal Times, Leave More Time for Your Financial Aid Form This Year as IRS Shuts Down FAFSA Data Tool:
The department has encouraged students to use the data retrieval tool in recent years because it reduces errors and streamlines the application process. Students can still file for aid without the tool, but they’ll have to manually enter their tax info, which could make their applications more likely to be selected for extra scrutiny.
In most cases, it’s still better to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible, rather than to wait for this issue to be fixed. Some financial aid is given out on a first-come, first-served basis, so the sooner you get your FAFSA in, the better your shot at getting a larger financial aid package.
Students aren’t the only ones affected by the tool’s outage. It’s also part of the application process used by graduates applying for an income-based repayment program, which will lower their student loan payments.