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Government easing student loan process while IRS tool down

WASHINGTON (AP) — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is announcing ways to help students apply for federal student loans while the IRS data tool is not working.

The Data Retrieval Tool lets students import their tax data into their aid applications. But it was shut down last month over safety concerns. Students can still manually input their tax information.

In a statement Monday, DeVos outlined several ways to facilitate the process while the online system is not operational. She says institutions may accept a signed paper copy of a student’s 2015 IRS tax return as official documentation. Also, institutions won’t be required to collect proof that an applicant or their spouse or parents did not file a 2015 tax return.

The new rules take effect immediately and apply to the years 2016 and 2017.

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