IRS Data Retrieval Process

Officials in the Office of Federal Student Aid and the Internal Revenue Service have worked together to develop a process to simplify the steps that families must take each year to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available for online FAFSA submittals and is accessible through the FAFSA website. The retrieval tool allows FAFSA applicants and parents with the ability to transfer their income information from the IRS to the FAFSA.

For the 2014-2015 award year ALL FAFSA on the Web (FOTW) applicants and parents of dependent applicants who indicate they have filed or will file a 2013 federal tax return will be directed to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to report and/or update their income information on the FAFSA.

Step by Step Instructions for using the Data Retrieval Tool are available online.

Benefits of using the data retrieval tool

  • Applicants can complete their FAFSA more easily and accurately!
  • The tool will increase the accuracy in the awarding for student financial aid funds!
  • Applicants selected for verification can use the tool to update their income information and avoid unnecessary processing delays!
  • ALL applicants and parents who indicate they have filed a federal tax return will be directed to use the IRS Tool.
  • Applicants and parents who indicate they will file a federal tax return will receive email communication(s) directing them to use the IRS Tool to update their income information once they have filed their 2013 federal income tax return.
  • Applicants selected for the verification process will be required to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (or) they may choose to request a tax transcript from the IRS which can later be submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

When will data be available from the IRS?

Electronic Tax Filers: Data will be available within 2 weeks of filing
Paper Tax Filers: Data will be available within 6-8 weeks of filing

If you plan to submit your FAFSA before you and/or your parents complete and submit your 2013 Federal Tax Return, then be sure to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your FAFSA record once the returns have been submitted and the income data is available to be retrieved.

Who is not eligible to use the tool?

  • Married couples who file separate tax returns.
  • Applicants whose marital status has changed as of January 1st, 2014.
  • Applicants who are neither eligible nor required to file a 2013 Federal Tax Return.

SPECIAL ITEM OF NOTE – Applicants who choose not to use the tool OR change the IRS income information

  • Applicants who choose not to use the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval Tool (OR) applicants who use the tool but subsequently change the income information will be informed they must explain to their institutions why information they provided is more accurate than the information available through the IRS.
  • Contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your circumstances. The Financial Aid administrator may ask you to submit copies of your W-2 form, last paycheck stub, a letter from your employer, tax transcript, or other.

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