IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Students and parents who have filed their 2016 federal tax returns should use the IRS Data Retrieval option on the FAFSA to transfer tax information to the FAFSA. Using the IRS Data Retrieval is the fastest, easiest and most secure tool to supply federal income tax information for income verification.


To use this option, you must:
    • Have a federal tax return filed with the IRS
    • Have a valid Social Security Number
    • Have a FSA ID

This option is not available if:
    • The filing status was married filing separately
    • An amended return was filed (1040X)
    • A Puerto Rican or foreign tax return was filed
    • A tax return was filed using a Tax ID Number (TIN)

How It Works

When either a parent or student selects the IRS Data Retrieval option, the FAFSA central processing system (CPS) will conduct a data match with the IRS. You will then be redirected to a secure IRS website where you permit the IRS to transfer income data to the CPS processor. Successfully matched data will be noted on the FAFSA as “Transferred from the IRS.”

A successful match will eliminate reporting errors and processing delays. If the FAFSA is selected for verification and you have used the IRS data, you will not need to request a federal income tax transcript. If you do not use the IRS data, you may be selected for verification and will need to request a federal income tax return transcript.

Already Completed your FAFSA?

If you have already filed a FAFSA, you can still use the IRS Data Retrieval option. Go to and sign into your FAFSA account with your PIN. You should update your information and select the IRS Data Retrieval option. Learn more.

How to Obtain a Tax Return Transcript

If the FAFSA is selected for verification and the IRS Data Retrieval option was not used, students and parents must request a tax transcript from the IRS and submit to the Financial Aid Office. Personal copies of tax returns can no longer be used.

Two Ways to Request a Tax Transcript

Online at:

Mail: Complete Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return), which is available online at The transcript will be mailed within 5 to 10 days from the IRS.

Please make sure to request a "Tax Transcript." Do not request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account because they cannot be used for financial aid verification purposes.