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Federal student aid service doesn't know when federal taxes are due

Campus

When one college coed submitted her application for student financial aid on March 13 through FAFSA -- the Free Application for Federal Student Aid -- she was surprised to learn that the deadline for filing federal taxes had already passed:

Dear RACHEL,

When you completed your 2012-2013 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you indicated that you were going to file your taxes and were providing estimated 2011 tax information. Now that the federal tax filing deadline has passed and you have probably filed your 2011 tax returns, it is time for you to update your FAFSA.

Consumerist notes that FAFSA isn't only confused about the deadline for filing tax returns, but they also warned applicants that failing to meet their incorrect deadline would impact their chances to receive aid:

You can update your FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov. You should change your answer on the FAFSA (question 32) to reflect that you have "already completed" your tax return. Once you've made this change, you will need to update the information you initially reported on the FAFSA to reflect the actual information from the 2011 tax return you filed.

If you or your college-aged student received a similar email from FAFSA denying your aid application for the same reason, you can breathe a sigh of relief.  The Department of Ed has since corrected their error:

We recently sent an e-mail advising you to update your tax data on the FAFSA once you have filed your tax return. Please note that the e-mail stated in error that the federal tax filing deadline has passed. You should disregard that sentence. The federal tax deadline this year is April 17. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused. You should still update the tax information on your FAFSA after you file your federal taxes, and we strongly encourage you to do that by importing your 2011 income tax information from the IRS into your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

U.S. Department of Education

Federal Student Aid

One would think the U.S. Department of Education would have known that the federal tax filing deadline is still a month away, but whatever.

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