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.
If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using the tool for several reasons:
- It’s the easiest way to provide your tax data.
- It’s the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.
- You won’t need to provide a copy of your or your parents’ tax returns to your college.
Students or parents who are married and filed as Married Filing Separately, are married and filed as Head of Household, filed a Form 1040X amended tax return, or filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, and will need to enter their tax return information manually. Remember, the Form 1040X is used to correct your original filed tax return.
Additionally, students or parents who filed their tax returns electronically within the last three weeks, or through the mail within the last eleven weeks, might need to either enter their tax return information manually or return at a later date to transfer their tax return information into the FAFSA, as their tax return information might not be available for transfer from the IRS.
If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, then click Link To IRS to transfer your tax return information from the IRS Web site into your FAFSA. (Note: If you previously transferred your tax return information from the IRS, or you indicate that you filed your tax return electronically within the last three weeks or through the mail within the last eleven weeks, then the Link To IRS button displays once you click the "View option to link to the IRS" hyperlink.)
If you are ineligible or otherwise choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to retrieve tax information, your college may require a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript (or your parents’ IRS Tax Return Transcript, if you are a dependent student).