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IRS Data Retrieval Process

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool provides students and families who file a federal tax return the option of transferring some of the IRS-related data directly to the FAFSA from the IRS database. We encourage you to use this tool within the FAFSA on the Web as a way to better ensure accuracy of financial aid awards.

Benefits of Using the Tool
  • Saves you time
  • Improves award accuracy
  • Could reduce the likelihood that your FAFSA will be selected for verification
Eligibility for Using the IRS DRT

You must have a valid Social Security Number and FSA PIN to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Students and parents must use the tool separately for their respective income tax returns.

If you meet any of the criteria below, you will not be able to utilize the IRS DRT and, therefore, must manually enter your tax return information.

  • Tax filer's filing status is 'Married Filing Separately'
  • Tax filer's filing status is 'Head of Household'
  • Applicants whose marital status has changed as of January 1, 2013
  • Tax filer has filed an amended return
  • Tax filer files a foreign return in lieu of federal return
  • Tax filer files a return for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in lieu of federal return
  • Tax filer recently filed federal return (see below for timing)
  • Applicants who are neither eligible nor required to file a 2012 federal tax return
Availability of Data from the IRS

To allow time for data to be available from the IRS, you must wait the appropriate amount of time before being able to use the IRS DRT on the FAFSA. The IRS has suggested the following, based on your tax filing method:

Electronic tax filers allow 3 weeks
Paper tax filers allow 8 weeks
IRS DRT and Federal Verfication

If your FAFSA is selected for federal verification, the requirement for verifying the tax return information can be satisfied by transferring the tax return information directly to your FAFSA using the IRS DRT. Once transferred, any changes made to your information will require you to submit a copy of your federal tax return transcript. Do not send your tax transcript unless you have been selected for verification and you are unable to use the IRS DRT.

Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid about reporting changes in income, instead of making changes to your FAFSA once the IRS DRT has been used.

Updating Your Tax Information Using the IRS DRT

If you initially filed your FAFSA using estimated tax information or chose not to use the IRS DRT, you can follow the steps below to utilize the IRS DRT three weeks after filing taxes electronically (or eight weeks if filing paper):

  1. Log in to FAFSA
  2. Select ‘Make FAFSA Corrections’
  3. Enter student’s PIN and FAFSA password (created at time of original filing)
  4. Select the ‘Financial Information’ tab

Parent information is displayed first (if student is dependent).

  1. Select ‘Already Completed’ from the drop-down box for the question ‘For 20xx, have your parents completed their IRS income tax return or another tax return?’
  2. Answer the filter question
  3. If the parent can answer ‘None of the Above’, the parent must first select which parent they are and then enter his/her FSA PIN to authorize accessing the IRS data.
  4. Select the ‘LINK TO IRS’ button to access the IRS DRT and transfer the tax information to the FAFSA.
  5. Repeat steps 1 – 4 for Student Tax Information (if a tax filer).
  6. Continue selecting the ‘Next’ arrow at the bottom of the page until you reach the ‘Sign & Submit’ page and complete final steps to submitting correction.

The University will receive an updated Student Aid Report to notify us that the IRS DRT was used. For applicants selected for federal verification, this should satisfy the IRS tax documentation requirement.