IRS Data Retrieval Tool
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.
The IRS DRT is available on the 2018–19 FAFSA form for eligible individuals. However, the tool is not available on the 2017–18 FAFSA form.
Satisfying Tax Requirements for Verification
If chosen for the process of Verification, in which the Financial Aid Office is required by the Department of Education to confirm the information on your FAFSA, you are required to provide tax information for both student, spouse (if independent) , and/or parent (if dependent). In addition to using DRT or providing a copy of a Tax Return Transcript, all parties must also provide corresponding wage statements (W2’s, 1099, etc.).
There are two options for filling these tax requirements:
Option 1: IRS Data Retrieval from FAFSA
DRT can be used for the 2018-19 FAFSA application, but not for the 2017-18 FAFSA. If you choose to import your information into the FAFSA form, you’ll see “Transferred from the IRS” in the appropriate fields. For your protection, your tax information will not be displayed on either the IRS site or FAFSA.gov.
How to use DRT:
- Return to the FAFSA website and login to your current FAFSA form or start a new application.
- In the finances section of the online form, you will see a “Link to IRS” button if you are eligible to use the IRS DRT.
- Click the “Link to IRS” button and log in with your FSA ID to be transferred to the IRS to retrieve your info.
- Pop-up windows will notify you that you are leaving the FAFSA site.
- Once at the IRS site, enter your information exactly as it appears on your federal income tax return and click the “Submit” button.
- Check the “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA form” box, and click the “Transfer Now” button.
- You will know that your federal tax return information has been successfully transferred because the words “Transferred from the IRS” will display in place of the IRS information in your FAFSA form. For your protection, your tax information will not be displayed on either the IRS site or FAFSA.gov.
If you are ineligible to use this tool you should use Option 2. You may be ineligible to use DRT if:
- You filed married filing separately
- You are married and you filed as Head of Household
- You filed an amended tax return
- You filed an electronic tax return less than two weeks ago
- You filed a paper tax return less than six weeks ago
- Your address on the FAFSA is different from the address on your Tax Return
- Your current marital status is different than it was on your Tax Return.
- You filed a Puerto Rico or foreign tax return
Option 2: Request a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript.
How can I obtain a free copy of an IRS Tax Return Transcript?
- Online: Go to the IRS website and click ‘Get Tax Record’. Note you must use the primary tax payer’s information if you filed jointly. You should receive the tax return transcript via US Postal Service within about 10 business days.
- Phone: Call 1-800-908-9946 and request the Tax Return Transcript. If you filed married filing jointly you must know the primary tax payer’s information in addition to your own information (full name, Date of Birth, SSN, tax filing status). You should receive the tax return transcript via US Postal Service within about 10 business days. You can also request to have the tax return transcript faxed directly to you provided you are physically located at the fax number.
- Form 4506-T available online (this is a free request). Use this form if your current address is different than what it was on your Tax Return. Complete, sign and send (via mail or fax) to the correct processing location indicated on page 2 of the form. You should receive the Tax return transcript via US Postal Service within 2-3 weeks.
Do I need to sign my tax return transcript before sending it to the Financial Aid Office?
It is recommended that you sign your tax return transcript, but it is not required. It is also recommended that you add your UMW student ID number to each page of the document.
The IRS has informed me that my tax return transcript is unavailable or they cannot locate it. What should I do?
- How long ago did you file? Did you file electronically or via mail? (Electronic applications take 2 weeks and paper applications take about 6-8 weeks to be available).
- Did you file a joint return? If so, make sure you are listing the primary tax filer’s information when requesting the tax return transcript.
- Do you have an unpaid amount due to the IRS? If so, there will be a delay in processing your return. Pay your tax liability as soon as possible and then request a tax transcript. The IRS has stated that tax returns for tax filers who have balances due will not be available until May or later.
- Check to make sure you have entered your address exactly as you did when you filed your taxes.
- If none of the above apply, you may wish to contact the nearest IRS Office.
Can I get multiple copies of my transcript if I am applying to more than one school?
It is recommended that you make multiple copies of your transcript to send to other schools, as obtaining additional copies from the IRS may be time consuming.
My current address is different from what’s on my tax return. What do I do?
If your address has changed since you filed your tax return, you may be able to request a tax return transcript via telephone or you may need to complete form 4506T to request a free copy of a Tax Return Transcript.
Can I have IRS Tax Return Transcript sent directly to the school?
If the Tax Return Transcript is for the parent(s), we do not recommend sending it directly to the school due to the difficulty in matching student with parent data at the school.
I used the IRS Data Retrieval on my FAFSA, and my untaxed pension or untaxed IRA distribution rollover was incorrectly brought forward. What do I do?
Do not correct the FAFSA yourself. Submit a copy of your 1099-R to the Financial Aid Office. The 1099-R is necessary to confirm that the amount is a rollover. We will remove the amount from your FAFSA.