FAFSA Tax Return Delays

The IRS seems to be causing more trouble than simply slowing down federal tax refunds, as there is a delay in processing forms 8863, Education Credits. The Department of Education formally addressed the delay this week, and it was referred to as a technical error due to a limited number of federal tax filing software. This delay affected hundreds of thousands of taxpayers that included many who have filed with H&R Block.

This glitch has added weeks onto the processing times for tax returns that are usually submitted and processed by mid-to-late February, making it rather difficult for some students to submit their FAFSA on time, which is Free Application for Free Student Aid.

Every year, millions of students submit a FAFSA, hoping to secure financing for college; this includes available grants and in many cases, loans. For the 2011-2012 FAFSA year, there were over 20,000,000 applications that were submitted, in which one third of them were submitted within the first quarter.

Students are not required to wait for their federal tax return to be processed by the IRS in order to complete and submit the FAFSA application. All of the information can be entered manually onto FAFSA, instead of using the FAFASA/ IRS Data Retrieval Tool that automatically populates the form with data from the IRS. The Department of Education is recommending that students file complete application as soon as possible. In addition, they can collect paper copies of those tax returns and make any FAFSA corrections.