irs data retrieval tool for fafsa

Posted : December 6, 2010
Last Updated : January 16, 2014

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.

The IRS Data Retrieval process cannot be used until you and/or your parents have filed taxes.

  • Electronically filed tax return information will be available online from the IRS site in 2-3 weeks after the return has been filed.
  • Data from paper tax returns will be available in 8-11 weeks.

Estimating Taxes and FAFSA Corrections
Since you can complete the FAFSA beginning January 1st (of the year for which you need aid) and because financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, you still have the option of estimating taxes for the FAFSA and manually entering your data. A couple of weeks after you have electronically filed your income tax return, you should use the FAFSA corrections process to update your FAFSA using the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval process.

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.

Dependent and independent applicants (and the dependent applicant’s parent) who meet all of the following criteria may be eligible to use the 2014-2015 IRS Data Retrieval process:

  • Must have a valid SSN
  • Must have filed a 2013 federal tax return
  • Must have a Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) PIN
  • Must have unchanged marital status since December 31, 2013

Dependent and independent applicants (and the dependent applicant’s parent) are not eligible to use the 2014-2015 IRS Data Retrieval tool if:

  • You did not file a federal tax return for 2013
  • You filed an amended federal tax return for 2013
  • Your marital status changed after December 31, 2013 
  • Your 2013 federal tax return filing status is "married filing separately"
  • Your 2013 federal tax return filing status is "head of household"
  • You filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
  • You filed a tax return using a Tax ID Number
  • You applied for a 2013 Federal IRS Tax Filing Extension
  • The home address on the FAFSA does not match the address on the tax return

For more information about the IRS Data Retrieval tool, please visit


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