How does the IRS Data Retrieval Tool work?

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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), and transfer the data directly into their FAFSA from the IRS Web site.

(Note: There are several scenarios in which you might not be given the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, including if you are not eligible to use it.)

To use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the application on the student or parent finances pages:

  1. If you indicated that you recently filed your taxes or have already used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your tax return information into your application, then click the “View option to link to the IRS” hyperlink. (Note: If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and have not previously used it to transfer your tax return information into your application, then the “View option to link to the IRS” hyperlink does not display; skip ahead to step 2.)
  2. Enter your Federal Student Aid PIN and click Link To IRS. (Note: Students will not be asked to enter their PIN if they entered a PIN to begin their FAFSA.)
  3. Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS Web site.
  4. On the IRS Web site, enter the requested information exactly as it appears on your tax return.
  5. After the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display. You can either transfer your information from the IRS, or choose to return to FAFSA on the Web.

If you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with that tax information will be marked with “Transferred from the IRS.”

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