IRS DATA Retrieval Tool



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IRS Data Retrieval Process  

Beginning with the academic year 2012-2013, there is an easier, faster way to provide tax information for the FAFSA—it is called the IRS Data Retrieval tool. While you are completing your 2012-13 FAFSA online, the retrieval process will display your tax information and allow you to transfer it automatically to your FAFSA. 

The Financial Aid Office encourages you to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool as the fastest and most accurate way of providing your (and your parent’s, if required) tax information. To do so, an individual must have filed their 2011 federal tax return electronically at least 2 weeks prior to using the IRS Data Retrieval tool –OR– have mailed their tax returns at least 6 to 8 weeks prior to using the retrieval tool

 If you indicate that your tax return is “Already Completed” when filling out the FAFSA online, you will be asked a series of questions that will help determine if you (or your parent) are eligible to use the tool. Some individuals may not be eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool. You can also choose not to use the tool. However, if you (or your parent) are eligible and use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, it is important that you do not change any of the retrieved information after the process has completed!

 Please note that you may still be required to supply other income information as part of the verification process.  IF that is the case, the FInancial AId Office can no longer accept copies of federal income tax returns.  You must contact the local IRS office to obtain a federal tax transcript.

To successfully use this option you must:

 Have a federal tax return filed with the IRS.

 Have a valid social security number.

 Have a Federal Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN)

You will be unable to use this option if:

 Your marital status changed after December 31, 2011.

 You filed married filing separately.

 You filed an amended return.

 You filed a foreign tax return.

 You filed a tax return using a Tax ID Number (TIN).

According to the IRS, this tool cannot be used until 2 weeks after electronically filing a tax return and 6-8 weeks after filing paper tax returns.

How It Works

When either a parent or student selects the IRS Data Retrieval option, the FAFSA Central Processing System (CPS) will conduct a data match with the IRS. As the federal income tax filer, you will be redirected to a secure IRS website, where you will permit the IRS to transfer income data to the CPS.  Data that is successfully matched will be marked on the FAFSA with the following notation, “Transferred from the IRS.” It’s as simple as that. This process avoids reporting errors and processing delays that can otherwise occur when the option is not selected.

Last Modified: 8/5/12