Starting January 1, 2014, the online FAFSA will be available for students to complete and submit to determine eligibility for financial aid for the 2014-2015 school year. It is highly recommended that parents file taxes before submitting the FAFSA to ensure that all information is accurate and complete. There is now a data retrieval button that links the FAFSA to tax information on the IRS website to help make this process smoother and easier for students and parents. Keep in mind that the deadline for submitting the FAFSA is March 1, 2014 so parents are encouraged to file taxes as early as possible.
PLEASE NOTE: The Internal Revenue Service announced Tuesday; they won’t start processing returns until at least January 28, 2014 and possibly as late as February 4, 2014 instead of the planned start date of January 21st. Yes, this could delay tax refunds for early filers by one or two weeks but it also effects students completing the FAFSA!
FAFSA filing traditionally begins January 1 and students are encouraged to begin filling out as much information as possible. However, the IRS data retrieval will not be available until after February 4. This could could cause delays for students and some verification issues for financial aid offices. Below is a link to an article from USA Today that sheds some light on the effects the shutdown is having on the IRS. http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/10/22/tax-season-delayed/3152091/
Please plan accordingly!