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
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
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 Transcript go to www.irs.gov and use Form 4506-T, or go to the “Tools” section on the website and click on “Get
Transcript for My Tax Records”, or call 1-800-908-9946. A tax transcript will be mailed
within 5 to 10 days from the IRS. Be sure to only request a Tax Return Transcript,
NOT an Account Transcript.
*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.