Wright State University’s enrollment is expected to hit its lowest point in more than a decade this coming academic year.
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The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on fafsa.gov and StudentLoans.gov will be unavailable until extra security protections can be added. While we are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, students, families, and borrowers should plan for the tool to be offline until the start of the next FAFSA season.
In the interim, please continue to complete the FAFSA or apply for income-driven repayment by manually providing your tax information.
Here’s what you should know:1. You can still submit the FAFSA online at fafsa.gov.
- You will need to manually provide your 2015 tax information in order to complete the FAFSA.
- DO NOT use 2016 tax information. We recently changed the FAFSA process and now require earlier tax information. For more information: StudentAid.gov/fafsa-changes.
- If your financial situation has changed since 2015, you should complete the FAFSA using the information it requires (2015 tax info), then contact your school’s financial aid office to discuss your circumstances. The financial aid office can make updates to your FAFSA information if appropriate.
- If you don’t have a copy of your 2015 tax return, access the tax software you used to prepare the return or contact your tax preparer to obtain a copy.
- If you still can’t access your return, you can get a summary of a previously filed tax return, called a tax transcript, at irs.gov/transcript.
2015 Income Tax Item
Adjusted gross income (AGI)
Line 56 minus line 46
Line 28 minus line 36
Wages earned from working
If you are using your 2015 income tax return to manually enter information on your FAFSA, the FAFSA instructions provide guidance on which line number to reference depending on the IRS tax form you filed. That information is also provided in the table below. For more specific guidance on each item, visit fafsa.gov/help.htm. If you’re using a tax transcript, there won’t be line numbers to reference, so read each question carefully.
*Unless you are self-employed. See details. Line 7 Line 1 Education credits Line 50 Line 33 N/A IRA deductions and payments to self-employed SEP, SIMPLE, Keogh, and other qualified plans Line 28 + Line 32 Line 17 N/A Tax-exempt interest income Line 8b Line 8b N/A Untaxed portions of IRA distributions Line 15a minus line 15b
Exclude rollovers Line 11a minus line 11b
Exclude rollovers N/A Untaxed portions of pensions Line 16a minus line 16b
Exclude rollovers Line 12a minus line 12b
Exclude rollovers N/A Untaxed portions of health savings accounts Line 25 N/A N/A Form W-2 Item Boxes Payments to tax-deferred pension and retirement savings plans Boxes 12a through 12d, codes D, E, F, G, H and S
Don’t include amounts reported in code DD (employer contributions toward employee health benefits) 2. You can still apply for and recertify your income-driven payments on StudentLoans.gov.
- While the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is unavailable, there is an additional step you may need to take to apply for or recertify your income-driven payments.
- After you complete and submit the online income-driven repayment application on StudentLoans.gov, you’ll be instructed to submit income documentation to your federal loan servicer.
- Valid income documentation may include a copy of your tax return, copies of pay stubs, or other acceptable forms of documentation explained online in the application process.
- The easiest way to submit documentation to your servicer is to log in to your servicer’s website and upload the documentation in your online account.
- If you need to recertify your income-driven payments, start the process early! Your servicer will inform you of your recertification deadline. Make sure you submit any documentation required by that deadline. If you don’t, your payments will increase, often significantly.
When will the IRS Data Retrieval Tool be available?
Students, families, and borrowers should plan for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to be offline until the start of the next FAFSA season.
Do not wait until the tool is available to fill out your FAFSA; you can enter your tax information manually on fafsa.gov. Do not wait to apply for an income-driven repayment plan, or recertify your income-driven payments; you can provide documentation of your tax information in place of using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
What if I don’t have a copy of my 2015 tax return?
If you don’t have a copy of your 2015 tax return, access the tax software you used to prepare the return or contact your tax preparer to obtain a copy.
If you still can’t access your return, you can get a summary of a previously filed tax return, called a tax transcript, at www.irs.gov/transcript. If you’re applying for or recertifying for an income-driven repayment plan, you can use your transcript as documentation of your income.
Will my FAFSA deadline be extended?
You need to ask your school’s financial aid office how they will handle upcoming deadlines.
That said, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool being down does not prevent you from filling out the FAFSA. Regardless of how your school decides to handle any upcoming FAFSA deadlines, we highly recommend submitting your FAFSA as soon as possible to avoid financial aid issues and delays.
Will my deadline to recertify my income-driven repayment plan be extended?
No. You should still recertify your income-driven repayment plan by the deadline listed in communications you receive from your federal student loan servicer. We recommend starting the process as soon as you get your recertification notice to avoid any issues.
Contact your servicer if you have questions or need help. If you need to locate contact information for your servicer, visit StudentAid.gov/login.
Nicole Callahan is a Digital Engagement Strategist at the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid.
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