IRS Data Retrieval Process
What is the IRS Data Retrieval Process?
In January 2010, Federal Student Aid (FSA) implemented a new feature in FAFSA on the web (FOTW) that allowed financial aid applicants and their parents to retrieve, directly from the IRS, certain income and other information they had reported on their federal income tax returns and to automatically transfer that information to their FAFSA application. Applicants who used the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval Process were, therefore, not required to manually enter into their FAFSA, income and related information that was included on a tax return. While some FOTW applicants are not eligible to use the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process - including married couples who file separate tax returns, applicants whose marital status has changed since January 1st of the processing year, students/parents who filed a foreign tax return, and students/parents who filed an amended federal tax return – most FAFSA filers are able to use the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process either at the time of initial FOTW filing or later when they go back in to update the FAFSA after they have filed their federal income tax return.
Beginning in January 2012, all 2012-2013 FOTW applicants, and the parents of dependent applicants, who indicate that they have filed their federal tax returns online 2 weeks (8 weeks if filed by paper) prior to completing their FAFSA and who are otherwise eligible will be directed to use the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process to complete their FAFSA more easily and accurately. Applicants who choose not to use this process, or who retrieve IRS data but subsequently change it on their FAFSA, will be informed that they will be subject to being selected for Federal Verification based upon the risk they pose to federal funds and, if they are selected, will be required to support their reported FAFSA data with information obtained directly from the IRS (i.e. federal tax return transcript). We advise applicants and parents to contact the Office of Financial Aid with any questions in regards to reporting changes in income instead of making changes to their FAFSA.
What if I didn’t use the IRS Data Retrieval Process?
If the student or parent did not use the IRS data retrieval process to transfer tax information into the FAFSA they can go back into the FAFSA and choose to do this once they have filed their Federal Tax return with the IRS. Those who are married and file separate tax returns and applicants whose marital status have changed since January 1st of the processing year will not be able to go back in or initially use the IRS Data Retrieval process.
Who has to submit an IRS Federal Tax Return Transcript?
Applicants who choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval process, or who retrieve IRS data but subsequently change it on their FAFSA, will be informed that they will have to submit an IRS Federal Tax Return Transcript directly to the financial aid office. Personal tax returns will no longer be accepted.
How do I obtain an IRS Federal Tax Return Transcript?
To request a IRS Federal Tax Return Transcript go to www.irs.gov and use Form 4506-T, or quickly request a transcript by using the “Tools” section on the website and then clicking on “Order a Transcript”, or call 1-800-908-9946. A tax transcript will be mailed within 5 to 10 days from the IRS. DO NOT submit a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account to the school because they can not be used for verification purposes.
*A tax filer who filed an income tax return other than an IRS form, such as a foreign or Puerto Rican tax form, must use the income information (converted to U.S. dollars) from the lines of the relevant income tax return that corresponds most closely to the income information reported on a U.S. income tax return.