Earlier this year someone attempted to access President Donald Trump’s Federal Income Tax Return through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA on the Web website. Long story short, the DRT was suspended indefinitely for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 FAFSA cycles. Don’t fret however, because the IRS DRT is back for the 2018-2019 cycle which begins on October 1, 2017. FAFSA applicants and parents will be able to link to the IRS, retrieve their 2016 Federal Income Tax Return Information and transfer the data directly to the FAFSA. Users will be required to go through the usual authentication process with the IRS of course, but they won’t be able to actually see their tax information, rather just the fields they can transfer into the FAFSA. Once the transfer occurs, applicants will see the words “Transferred from the IRS” on the corresponding FAFSA questions.
Meanwhile Aid administrators and software providers have some bigger changes to deal with, particularly IRS Request Flags and IRS Display Flags. Both flags will help determine if an applicant was eligible to use the DRT and if they or their parent changed any of the information. Check out FSA’s recent electronic announcement for more information about the IRS Request and Display Flags here.