IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available for online FAFSA submittals and is accessible through the FAFSA web site www.fafsa.gov.  The retrieval tool allows FAFSA applicants and parents with the ability to transfer their income information from the IRS to the FAFSA.  See below.

For the 2015-16 award year ALL FAFSA on the Web (FOTW) applicants and parents of dependent applicants who indicate they have filed or will file a 2015 federal tax return will be directed to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to report and/or update their income information on the FAFSA.

Screenshot of IRS Data Retrieval tool

For 2016-2017 FAFSA submittals, the IRS Tool is available beginning February 7, 2016.

BENEFITS OF USING THE TOOL:

  • Applicants can complete their FAFSA more easily and accurately!
  • The tool will increase the accuracy in the awarding for student financial aid funds!
  • Applicants selected for verification can use the tool to update their income information and avoid unnecessary processing delays!

 
IMPORTANT CHANGES TO THE 2016-2017 FAFSA PROCESS:

  • ALL applicants and parents who indicate they have filed a federal tax return will be directed to use the IRS Tool.
  • Applicants and parents who indicate they will file a federal tax return will receive email communication(s) directing them to use the IRS Tool to update their income information once they have filed their 2015 federal income tax return.
  • Applicants selected for the verification process will be required to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (or) they may choose to request a tax transcript from the IRS which can later be submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

Select this link for a brief tutorial on the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

WHEN WILL DATA BE AVAILABLE FROM THE IRS?

Electronic Tax Filers - Data will be available within 2 weeks of filing
Paper Tax Filers - Data will be available within 6 – 8 weeks of filing

If you plan to submit your FAFSA before you and/or your parents complete and submit your 2015 Federal Tax Return, then be sure to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your FAFSA record once the returns have been submitted and the income data is available to be retrieved.

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • January 1, 2016 – students may begin to submit their FAFSA applications for 2016-17
  • February 7, 2016 – access to the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool expected to be available
  • March 2, 2016 – priority funding consideration deadline

WHO IS “NOT” ELIGIBLE TO USE THE TOOL?

  • Married couples who file separate tax returns.
  • Applicants whose marital status has changed as of January 1st, 2015.
  • Applicants who are neither eligible nor required to file a 2015 Federal Tax Return.

 
SPECIAL ITEM OF NOTE – Applicants who choose not to use the tool OR change the IRS income information

  • Applicants who choose not to use the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval Tool (OR) applicants who use the tool but subsequently change the income information will be informed they must explain to their institutions why information they provided is more accurate than the information available through the IRS.
  • Contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your circumstances.  The Financial Aid administrator may ask you to submit copies of your W-2 form, last paycheck stub, a letter from your employer, tax transcript, or other.

WHAT IF YOUR FILE IS SELECTED FOR VERIFICATION?

If your 2016-17 FAFSA record is selected for a process called verification and you and your parents were eligible to file a 2015 federal tax return, you will be required to:

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your and/or your parent or spouse income information; (OR)
  • You and/or your parents or spouse may request a “Tax Transcript” from the IRS to submit to the Financial Aid Office to verify your income information.

Select this link for a step-by-step guide on how to request a copy your tax transcript.

USEFUL LINKS:

2016-2017 FAFSA Workshop Series - 2016-2017 FAFSA Workshop Presentation