IRS Data Retrieval Tool
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IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) allows you and your parent(s) to transfer information from federal income tax returns to answer corresponding questions on FAFSA on the Web. The DRT may be used to complete the initial FAFSA or to update information on the FAFSA.

Using the IRS DRT is beneficial because:

  • It reduces the likelihood that your FAFSA will be selected for verification. Any data element that is copied from a federal income tax return as filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) without modification will not be subject to verification
  • It reduces errors
  • It eliminates the guesswork of determining which line items from the tax return correspond with certain FAFSA questions

You may not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:

  • Your or your parents’ marital status has changed after the end of the tax year
  • You or your parent(s) filed “married filing separately”
  • You or your parent(s) filed an amended tax return
  • You or your parent(s) filed a foreign tax returns instead of or in addition to a U.S. federal income tax return

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool transfers your IRS tax information directly into your FAFSA. To use the Data Retrieval Tool, complete the following steps:

  • Go to fafsa.ed.gov and select the “Start Here” button
  • Log in using your FSA ID
  • Select the “Continue” or “Make a Correction” button
  • Select the “Financial Information” tab from the top of the page.

Instructions for the parent to request the parent IRS information:

  1. Go to “Parent Financial Information” page
  2. Answer the questions in the first box to see if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
  3. If eligible, select which parent is providing information on the FAFSA
  4. Enter the FSA ID for the parent providing the information
  5. Click “Link to IRS”
  6. Review the information displayed and select the “Transfer My Information into the FAFSA” option

Instructions for the student to request the student IRS information:

  1. Go to “Student Financial Information” page
  2. Answer the questions in the first box to see if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
  3. If eligible, click “Link to IRS”
  4. Review the information displayed and select the “Transfer My Information into the FAFSA” option
  5. Proceed to the Sign and Submit page

If you’d like to know more about the tool, FinAid offers a in depth summary on their website.