Sharing income and tax information
September 06, 2017
High stakes are involved, but no one is playing a game.
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) reminded financial aid professionals yesterday (Sept. 5) in an Electronic Announcement to not share any income and tax information with FAFSA applicants unless the applicant can verify his or her identity.
The reminder follows the decision earlier this year by the Department of Education (ED) to take down the IRS data retrieval tool (DRT) due to security concerns. ED later announced the DRT would be reinstated with the Oct. 1 release of 2018-19 FAFSA. However, FAFSA applications would not be able to see their income information and any corrections or updates will need to be done by financial aid professionals.
In the announcement this week, FSA said a FAFSA applicant appearing in person and presenting an unexpired, valid government-issued photo identification (e.g. a driver's license, non-driver's identification card, other state-issued identification, or U.S. passport) is a secure way of doing so for purposes of disclosing FAFSA information. In addition, FSA said institutions and state agencies may need to strengthen their internal controls and provide additional training for staff to ensure that confidential information is not inappropriately or inadvertently disclosed.
For more information about the 2018-19 FAFSA, attend one of the Mapping Your Future webinars. If you have questions or need more information, contact the Mapping Your Future staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 374-4072.