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Completing your 2017-18 FAFSA without IRS Data Retrieval

Michigan Union study room

On March 9, the U.S. Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service halted the use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, commonly used by students and parents to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to automatically populate FAFSA fields with federal tax information.

The decision was made due to security concerns, the agencies said in a joint statement (found here). They did not specify when the tool might be functional again.

The FAFSA application remains available online and the U-M Office of Financial Aid makes the following recommendations to U-M students who are applying for aid for 2017-18:

  1. Don’t delay completing your FAFSA. U-M’s priority application deadline remains the same: April 30, 2017.  We must receive your FAFSA by this date in order to consider you for all aid programs. Complete your FAFSA now and do not wait for the federal tool to come back online.
  2. Have copies of your 2015 tax returns handy. Most families will have finalized their 2015 federal taxes needed to complete the 2017-18 FAFSA. Do not use estimated tax data, unless necessary.
  3. We will require a Federal Tax Return Transcript from you by June 1, so order this immediately after completing the FAFSA. Here is information about how to do this. Ordering a paper transcript will take the IRS 10-14 days to process, so don’t put this off.

If you have questions about the FAFSA process, contact our office immediately and speak with a financial aid administrator. We want you to receive all of the aid for which you are eligible. Always include your 8-digit UMID when contacting us.