IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Students and parents who need to report federal income tax return information on the FAFSA should use the IRS Data Retrieval link ("Link to IRS"), if available. Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is the fastest, easiest and most secure way to complete the federal income tax questions on the student and parent income sections on the FAFSA.

Eligibility

To use this option, you must:
    • Have already filed a federal income tax return for the requested tax year
    • Have a valid Social Security Number
    • Have a FSA ID

This option is not available if:
    • Student and their spouse or student's parents filed taxes separately
    • 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 clicks the "Link to IRS" button on the FAFSA, they will be redirected to a secure IRS website where they can retrieve and permit the transfer of federal income tax return data to the student's FAFSA application. Successfully transferred tax return data will be noted on the FAFSA income tax return questions as “Transferred from the IRS.”

A successful match will eliminate reporting errors and processing delays. If the FAFSA is selected for verification and the IRS Data Retrieval Tool was successfully used, you may not need to send copies of student and/or parent income tax return information to college financial aid offices. If you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool option, you may be selected for verification and will need to provide student/parent federal income tax return documentation to colleges.

Already Completed your FAFSA?

If you have already filed a FAFSA, you can still use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your income tax return information. Go to fafsa.gov and sign into your FAFSA account with your FSA ID. You can click the option to "Make FAFSA Corrections" and navigate to the student and parent income sections and use the "Link to IRS" button to initiate the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. 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 may be asked to request a tax transcript from the IRS and submit to college financial aid offices. If a student or parent is unable to obtain a copy of their federal income tax return transcript, then a signed copy of the tax return can be sent instead.

Two Ways to Request a Tax Transcript

Online at: www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript

Mail: Complete Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return), which is available online at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf. 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.