IRS Data Retrieval Tool
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is currently available for tax filers. The FAFSA will provide filers with the option of retrieving certain relevant data elements (such as adjusted gross income) directly from the IRS tax database.
Most students and parents are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if they have already filed their taxes. However, there are a few scenarios in which students and parents are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, such as:
- The student/parent is married, and either the student/parent or his/her spouse filed as Married Filing Separately.
- The student/parent is married, and either the student/parent or his/her spouse filed as Head of Household.
- The parents' marital status is "Unmarried and both parents living together." (For 2014-15 FAFSA only)
- The student/parent filed an amended tax return.
- The student/parent filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return.
- Any students or parents who meet the above criteria will need to enter their tax return information manually.
Additionally, there may be a delay between the time of your tax return filing and the availability of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. You then have the option to enter tax return information manually or return at a later date to transfer tax return information into the FAFSA.
How to Use Data Retrieval
If you are eligible, you can execute the retrieval from within the FAFSA website while completing an initial application, renewal application, or correction to an existing application. FAFSA will ask questions to help you determine if you are able to use the Data Retrieval Tool and walk you through the data match process. If you are correcting an existing application, be sure to always make updates to the most recent transaction.
At this time, students and parent(s) who use the Data Retrieval Tool and do not make subsequent changes to the transferred information reduce the likelihood of being selected for verification, and will not be selected to verify their tax-related information or be required to submit tax transcripts for verification purposes if they are selected. (You may still be required to submit documentation of non-tax data elements, such as amount of child support paid or food stamp eligibility.)
If you are unable to use the IRS DRT, you may request a copy of your tax transcript online:
» Online Tax Return Transcript Request
More information is available on the FAFSA website.