The Dept of Education introduced an IRS Data Retrieval Tool to the FAFSA last year to simplify the application process for students, expedite the process for the Department, and limit the amount of paperwork colleges needed to collect. Please see a step-by-step guide below found on IRSDataRetrievalTool.com to help assist you in completing or updating your FAFSA.
What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows you to securely and accurately transfer your IRS tax information to the FAFSA. Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool increases the accuracy of financial aid awards and reduces the amount of documents that your financial aid office may request. If you are selected for verification you won’t need to provide a copy of your or your parents’ tax transcripts to your college.
When can I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is now available for both the 2013-2014 and 2012-2013 school years. Please keep in mind that:
- If you filed your taxes electronically the data will be available within 2 weeks of filing.
- If you filed your taxes using paper (do people still do that?) then your data will not be available for 6 to 8 weeks. It is strongly recommended that all financial aid applicants and their parents file their taxes electronically.
You are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if you meet one of the following conditions:
- You or your spouse filed as Married Filing Separately
- You or your spouse filed as Head of Household
- You filed an amended tax return
- You filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
- You changed your marital status after the end of the tax year, December 31, 2012
If you are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool you will need to order a tax return transcript. Click here for instructions on how to order a tax return transcript.
I’m ready to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. How do I get started?
Continue to the Step by Step Instructions page.