IRS data retrieval simplifies the FAFSA filing process by allowing students and parents to verify their tax data by linking the FAFSA to a filed tax return. If you are eligible, we strongly encourage you to use IRS data retrieval to update your tax information. If you are selected for verification and you do not use the data retrieval tool, you may be required to obtain an official tax transcript from the IRS.
Who Cannot Use IRS Data Retrieval?
- Parents who filed separate tax returns.
- A married applicant and spouse who filed separate tax returns.
- An applicant or parent who has a change in marital status after the end of the year.
- An applicant, parent or spouse who filed an amended tax return.
How to Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
Please allow two weeks after electronically filing your taxes for the IRS data retrieval tool to be available (eight weeks if taxes were filed by mail).
- Visit the FAFSA website and log in with your FSA ID.
- Click "Make a Correction," then "Financial Information."
- Visit the parent or student financial section.
- Answer the questions to see if you are eligible to use the IRS data retrieval tool.
- Enter your FSA ID and click "Link to IRS." Enter the FSA ID of the person whose tax information is being transferred. (Note: Students will not be asked to enter their FSA ID if they entered an FSA ID to begin their FAFSA.)
- Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS website.
- On the IRS website, enter the requested information exactly as it appears on your tax return.
- After the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display. You can transfer your information from the IRS, then return to the FAFSA website to sign and submit the correction.
Data for both the student and parent(s) must be retrieved if both have filed tax returns. If the student did not file a tax return, complete this process only for the parent(s).
If you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with that information will be marked with "Transferred from the IRS." Once the information has transferred, do not make any changes, as this will void the transfer and you will be required to order a tax return transcript.
Updating Your FAFSA
Families who completed their initial FAFSA with estimated income and have since filed their federal tax returns may be able to use the IRS data retrieval process. Federal Student Aid will remind applicants to update their FAFSA using the IRS data retrieval process. Subsequent messages are sent every 45 days until mid-September, then every 60 days until the end of the processing cycle.
How to Obtain a Tax Return Transcript
- Visit irs.gov/transcript. Once you have authenticated, provide the reason for the request, year(s) requested and type(s) of information requested.
- Call the IRS at (800) 908-9946.
Be sure to select "IRS tax return transcript" and not "IRS tax account transcript." Use the Social Security number and date of birth of the first person listed on the tax return, along with the address on file (this will normally be the address used on the tax return).
In most cases, electronic filers may request a tax return transcript 2-3 weeks after the tax return has been accepted by the IRS. Paper filers may generally request a tax return transcript 8-11 weeks after the tax return has been received by the IRS.
The transcript must be sent directly to the taxpayer. Please keep a copy of the original and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid.
The priority deadline for required documentation for financial aid verification is May 15. If you have extenuating circumstances that prevent you from submitting the necessary information in this timeframe, please contact the Office of Financial Aid. If you file an extension, please send a copy of Form 4868 to our office.