Hackers use FAFSA to file false tax returns

Madison Rexroat

The IRS eliminated a tool in February that FAFSA applicants used to automatically fill in their tax information. The cause, though no incidents had been reported at the time, was that hackers had been found to use that tool to get personal information from applicants and file false tax returns. 

The IRS commissioner said that fewer than 8,000 of those returns were processed, and refunds totaled $30 million. However, 100,000 unfinished applications have been flagged after they used the Data Retrieval Tool but didn’t finish the process.

Nearly 15 million people used the tool for convenience. A new tool that will be more secure won’t be available until October, but current applicants can still manually enter their tax information on the online application.

To read the full report by USA Today, click here