The U.S. Department of Education and the IRS have simplified the FAFSA filing process by allowing students and parents to verify their tax data by linking the FAFSA to a filed tax return. This process is called the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you are eligible, we strongly encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your tax information.
If you are selected for verification and you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you may be required to obtain an official tax transcript from the IRS.
Who cannot use IRS data retrieval?
- A married independent applicant and spouse who filed separate tax returns.
- 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 Dec. 31, 2014.
- The applicant, parent or spouse, who has filed an amended tax return.
How Does It Work?
- Go to fafsa.ed.gov and click "Start Here."
- Enter your FSA ID and password (student) and student information.
- Click "View Processed FAFSA," then "Make Corrections," then "Financial Information" (complete for parent and student).
- 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."
- There are multiple steps to complete. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of each page and check for submission and signature boxes.
Please allow two weeks after electronically filing your taxes for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to be available.
Updating Your FAFSA
Families who 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.
Tax Return Transcript
The IRS has launched an online service that provides a PDF version of an official tax return transcript. Features of "Get Transcript" include:
- Accessible after taxpayer authenticates with the IRS website.
- Provides immediate display of transcript via PDF; users can view, print and save the file.
To obtain a tax return transcript via "Get Transcript," visit www.irs.gov/transcript. After user authentication, provide the reason for the request, select the year(s), type(s) of information requested and other requested information, and the document will be displayed in a printable format.
Other ways to obtain a 2014 tax return transcript
- Visit www.irs.gov and click "Order a Return or Account Transcript"
- Call the IRS at (800) 908-9946
Please be sure to select "IRS tax return transcript" and not "IRS tax account transcript." Use the Social Security number and date of birth of the first person listed on the 2014 income tax return, along with the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used on the income tax return).
In most cases, for electronic filers, a tax return transcript may be requested 2-3 weeks after the income tax return has been accepted by the IRS. For paper filers, the tax return transcript may generally be requested 8–11 weeks after the income tax return has been received by the IRS.
The transcript must be sent directly to you. Please be sure to keep a copy of the original and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid.
The priority deadline to submit all required documentation for financial aid verification is May 15. If you have any extenuating circumstances that prevent you from submitting the necessary information in this timeframe, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.