College Funding

Step 9: IRS Data Retrieval

IRS Data Retrieval Instructions

What exactly is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

It allows students and parents to retrieve information needed to complete the FAFSA and transfer data directly into their FAFSA from the IRS website.

Why use it? It’s the easiest way to provide your tax information to your college using the FAFSA and for the majority of the time, but not always, you will not have to provide copies of your and/or your parents’ tax returns to your college. You could do it all online.

Who is ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool? Students or parents who are married and filed as married filing separately, or married and filed as head of household, filed an amended tax return or filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return are all not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you’re ineligible, you will most likely be required to submit a hard copy of you and/or your parents’ with IRS Tax Return Transcript or actual tax returns so they can make sure that the information that you provided on your FAFSA is accurate.

Why is my information not transferring? This is a common question that a lot of people have and will see if the students and parents filed their taxes electronically with the last three weeks or submitted them through the mail within the last eight weeks. If this is the case, you’ll need to enter your tax information manually or return on the later date to transfer your information using the IRSDRT. Remember that it takes some time between 2-8 weeks after you’ve filed for the IRS data retrieval tool to work.

How to link you FAFSA to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

First you want to go to the FAFSA website and go ahead and log in. We are going to assume that you’ve already created a FAFSA and put your estimates in and you are just going to go ahead and update the numbers with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Go in and log in as a returning user. You will enter all of your information and once you log in, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is going to be under the financial information section. You want to go on that section and you want to go ahead and mark that your parents have already completed their tax returns and then you are going to be asked a couple questions.

You can see all of these questions, if you mark yes to any of them, you are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool but if you mark no then you’ll be fine. These series of questions determine your eligibility to use the tool. If you’re eligible, you’ll have the option to link your information to the IRS.

Okay, and then you’ll go ahead and enter in the pin number of the parent you used to sign the initial FAFSA with and then you’ll be notified that you’ll be leaving FAFSA on the web so you would just go ahead and click okay.

It’s going to ask you to enter in some of your federal income tax information so just your first, last name, social security number, date of birth, filing status and also your address and once you enter in all of that information, go ahead and click on submit and if the information is ready and able to pull from the IRS then you’ll be able to transfer all of your information over. It will ask you on the very bottom whether or not you want to transfer your information over and you’re going to need go ahead and click that, you do want to transfer your information over. Then once you go ahead and do that, if you are a student and you also have filed taxes as well then you want to go through and repeat all the stuffs to retrieve and fill. Once you complete, you could go ahead and sign and submit your FAFSA and you are all done!

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