IRS Data Retrieval Tool Restored

On Sunday, the U.S. Education Department and the Internal Revenue Service restored the data retrieval tool (IRS DRT) for the federal financial aid system, Inside Higher Ed reported. The online tool, introduced in the 2010-11 academic year, allows students and families to automatically import tax information already on file with the government into the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

The department and the IRS abruptly suspended access to the tool in March following concerns that identity thieves were misusing it to obtain taxpayer information. Student aid advocates rushed to communicate the change to students and provide assistance to those who would face greater challenges applying for aid, reported Inside Higher Ed. Lawmakers also asked the Education Department to provide additional help to student aid applicants.

The IRS DRT is now available to use with the 2018–19 FAFSA form. Additional security and privacy protections have been added to address fraudulent usage concerns.

The renewed availability of the tool means filling out the FAFSA will be quicker and more accurate for students and their families.


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Inside Higher Ed