irs data retrieval tool for fafsa

Posted : December 6, 2010
Last Updated : November 9, 2016
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irs data retrieval tool for fafsa

The IRS Data Retrieval tool is a process that helps streamline the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by allowing online FAFSA filers to pull specific tax return data directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The retrieval tool will save you time and increase the accuracy of your FAFSA information.

Why Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

  • It's simple. You don't have to find your tax records because the IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows you to transfer your tax info with the click of a button.
  • It's fast. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool instantly retrieves your information.
  • It's precise. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will correctly fill in data fields on the FAFSA, so you won't have to worry about making mistakes when entering your tax information.

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.

Steps for using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

  1. Log into your current FAFSA or start a new FAFSA at fafsa.gov.
  2. Look for "Link to IRS" button in the finances section of the FAFSA if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  3. Click the "Link to IRS" button and log into the IRS to retrieve your tax return information.
  4. Review your tax return information and see the tax data that will be transferred into your FAFSA.
  5. Check the "Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA" box and click the "Transfer Now" button.
  6. Review your federal tax return information that has been transferred into the data fields on your FAFSA.

Eligibilty

Most dependent and independent applicants (and the dependent applicant's parent) are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if they have filed their taxes. Starting with the 2017–18 FAFSA, applicants should report income information from the tax year two years prior to the academic year. Dependent and independent applicants (and the dependent applicant's parent) are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and must enter tax return information manually if:

  • 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.”
  • The student/parent filed an amended tax return.
  • The student/parent filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return.

For more information about the IRS Data Retrieval tool, please visit www.fafsa.ed.gov


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