FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Federal Student Aid and the Internal Revenue Service collaborated to develop a solution that simplifies FAFSA completion. The IRS Data Retrieval tool will allow Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the web applicants to request and retrieve their income and tax data from the IRS. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA. Students and parents may transfer the data directly into their FAFSA.

If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using the tool as it is an easy way to provide tax data and ensures FAFSA has accurate tax information. Please note, if you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide tax information, you may be required to obtain an official tax transcript from the IRS.

Availability

Eligibility

Estimating Taxes and FAFSA Corrections

How the student IRS Data Retrieval Tool works

How the parent IRS Data Retrieval Tool works

Why Can’t I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if I files a tax return outside the U.S.?

Why can’t I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if I am married and filed taxes separately from my spouse?

Why can’t I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if I filed an amended tax return?


Watch an Overview


Availability

For the 2013-2014 academic year, the IRS data retrieval process is tentatively scheduled to be available in February 2013. 

  • Electronically filed tax return information will be available online from the IRS site in 1-2 weeks after the return has been filed.
  • Data from paper tax returns will be available in 6-8 weeks.

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Eligibility

For 2014-2015, applicants filing an initial or renewal application or making a correction are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool if he or she meets all of the following criteria:

  •  Must have valid SSN
  •  Must have filed a 2013 federal tax return
  •  Must have unchanged marital status since December 31, 2013

The following list represents who can not use the IRS Data Retrieval tool for 2014-2015:

  •  Parents with all zeroes for SSN (Social Security Number)
  •  Any student or parent with a marital status date of January 1, 2014 or later
  •  Any student or parent who indicates they have not already filed a tax return or will not file a tax return
  •  A married independent applicant and spouse who filed separate tax returns
  •  Parents of a dependent student who filed separate tax returns
  •  The applicant, parent, or spouse, as applicable, who have filed an amended tax return

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Estimating Taxes and FAFSA Corrections

Since you can complete the FAFSA beginning January 1st (of the year for which you need aid) and because financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, you still have the option of estimating taxes for the FAFSA and manually entering your data. Starting around April 1, 2013, Federal Student Aid will send notifications to remind you that once you have filed your income tax return, you should use the FAFSA corrections process to update your FAFSA using the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval process.

If you choose not to use the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval process or retrieve IRS data but subsequently change it, you will need to explain to your institutions why information you provided is more accurate than the information that would have been obtained directly from the IRS. If you elect to not use the retrieval process, you will be subject to being selected for verification. If selected for verification, you will be required to support your reported FAFSA data with information obtained directly from the IRS. For more information about the IRS Data Retrieval tool, please visit www.fafsa.ed.gov.

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How the Student IRS DRT works:

  1. Enter your PIN* and click Link To IRS. *You will not be asked to enter your PIN if you entered a PIN to begin your FAFSA.
  2. Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS Web site.
  3. On the IRS Web site, enter the requested information.
  4. Once the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display. You can either transfer your information from the IRS, or choose to return to FAFSA on the Web from the IRS Web site. If you do not transfer your information or choose not to return from the IRS Web site, you will have to login to open your saved FAFSA.
  5. If you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with tax information will be marked with “Transferred from the IRS.”

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How the Parent IRS Data Retrieval Tool works:

  1. Enter your PIN and click Link To IRS
  2. Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS Web site.
  3. On the IRS Web site, enter the requested information.
  4. Once the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display. You can either transfer your information from the IRS, or choose to return to FAFSA on the Web from the IRS Web site. If you do not transfer your information or choose not to return from the IRS Web site, you will have to login to open your saved FAFSA.
  5. If you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with tax information will be marked with “Transferred from the IRS.

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Why Can’t I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if I file a tax return outside the U.S.?

If you did not file a Federal IRS tax return, you cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool because there is no information on file with the IRS for you to view and transfer.

If you filed both a Federal IRS tax return and a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return, you will only be able to view and transfer your Federal IRS tax return information if you link to the IRS Web site. Therefore, your IRS tax return information may not completely reflect what you need to report on the FAFSA.

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Why can’t I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if I am married and filed taxes separately from my spouse?

If you are married and filed taxes separately from your spouse, you will only be able to view and transfer your own tax return information if you link to the IRS Web site. Therefore, your IRS tax return information may not completely reflect what you need to report on the FAFSA.

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Why can’t I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if I filed an amended tax return?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows users to link to the IRS Web site and securely transfer original IRS tax return information into their FAFSA, but not amended tax return information. Therefore, your IRS tax return information may not completely reflect what you need to report on the FAFSA.

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Last Updated: 4/11/14