Verification of FAFSA information and new IRS Data Retrieval Tool or tax return transcript: Should you be selected for verification, new federal regulations require transferring or verifying your income tax information by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool available on the FAFSA website or by submitting a tax return transcript to the Office of Financial Aid. Documents will be requested by mail.
Students Who Are Selected for Verification by the Department of Education
- Applicant should use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool set up with the IRS and U.S. Department of Education on the FAFSA website to verify income information from your filed federal tax return, as filled out on your FAFSA. If Data Retrieval Tool is not used, or applicant is not eligible to use the tool: A tax return transcript will be required to be submitted for student/parent(s).
- Verification worksheet must be completed.
- Documentation of child support paid required (if applicable).
- Documentation of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) required (if applicable).
Please see instructions and information below.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students and parents may transfer the data directly into their FAFSA.
If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using the tool for several reasons:
- It's the easiest way to provide your tax data.
- It's the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.
- You may not need to provide a copy of your or your parents' tax returns, or a tax return transcript.
If you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide tax information and your college requests a copy of your tax return or your parents' tax return, you may be required to obtain an official tax transcript from the IRS.
IRS Data Retrieval Process
Officials in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid and the Internal Revenue Service have worked together to develop a process to simplify the steps that families must take each year to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Who cannot use IRS data retrieval?
- A married independent applicant and spouse who filed separate tax returns.
- When the parents of a dependent student who filed separate tax returns.
- An applicant or applicant's parent who have had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year on December 31, 2013.
- The applicant, parent or spouse, who has filed an amended tax return.
Note: Electronically filed tax return information will be available online from the IRS site approximately two weeks after the return has been filed. Paper federal tax return information will be available online from the IRS site approximately eight weeks after the return has been filed. However, if a taxpayer owes taxes, this information will not be available until processed by the IRS, sometime after May 17.
How Does It Work?
- Go to fafsa.ed.gov.
- Click "Start Here."
- Enter your PIN (student).
- Enter student information.
- Click "View Processed FAFSA," then "Make Corrections," then "Financial Information."
- Change tax filing status to "Filed."
- You will receive a prompt to take you to the IRS website.
- On the IRS website, enter the requested information.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and be sure to select the option to transmit your data to your FAFSA.
- Once you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with tax information will be marked with "Transferred from the IRS."
- Be sure to complete ALL steps; there are multiple confirmation requests after the transfer is completed.
Note: You need to complete this process for both student and parent, if both have filed federal tax returns. Once you complete the IRS transfer for the student, you may click back into the FAFSA and complete the same process for parent tax information with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
Updating Your FAFSA Information
Families who have completed their initial FAFSA with estimated income, and have since completed their federal tax returns, may be able to use the data retrieval process as explained above. Federal Student Aid will remind applicants that once they have filed their income tax return they should use the FAFSA corrections process to update their FAFSA using the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process. Subsequent messages will be sent every 45 days until mid-September then every 60 days until the end of the processing cycle.
What is A Tax Return Transcript?
A tax return transcript is a computerized printout provided by the IRS that shows line items from your tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as it was originally filed. Please be advised that Salve Regina will not accept tax account transcripts. They do not satisfy federal verification requirements.
Several Ways to Order your IRS Tax Return Transcript
If your FAFSA is selected for verification, and you did not use the IRS data retrieval option or you changed the IRS data, or are not eligible to use this tool, you will be required to request a tax transcript from IRS and submit it directly to the Office of Financial Aid. Personal copies of tax returns will no longer be accepted, except for certain circumstances. In such circumstances, you will be notified by the Office of Financial Aid.
There are three ways to request your tax transcript: online, by phone or by mail.
- You can obtain a free transcript on the IRS.gov website by clicking "Order a Transcript" under the "Online Services" option.
- By phone. Call the IRS at (800) 908-9946 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and follow the prompts in the recorded message.
- By mail (not recommended). While this process is available by mail, we highly recommend you request by phone or online, due to the length of time needed to receive by mail.
Note: If you have already requested a transcript recently, you may need to wait several weeks in order for the IRS to process an additional request. Important: Keep a copy for your records. Please sign your transcript and write student's name and ID before mailing to Salve Regina.