IRS Data Retrieval
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to conveniently access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The tool allows you to electronically transfer your tax data directly into their FAFSA from the IRS Web site. The IRS Data Retrieval process is a good way to ensure your application information is complete and accurate.
Am I eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool? Expand
Most students and parents are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if they have already filed their taxes. However, there are a few circumstances in which students and parents are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, such as:
- The student/parent is married, and either the student/parent or his/her spouse filed as Married Filing Separately.
- The student/parent is married, and either the student/parent or his/her spouse filed as Head of Household.
- The parents' marital status is "Unmarried and both parents are living together."
- The student/parent filed an amended tax return.
- The student/parent filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return.
Any students or parents who meet the above criteria will need to enter their tax return information manually.
Additionally, students or parents who filed their tax returns electronically within the last three weeks, or through the mail within the last 11 weeks, might need to 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.
Why wasn't I given the option to use IRS Data Retrieval? Expand
There are several situations in which you will not be given the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. These include:
- The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is not available for use yet. (Typically, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool becomes available for use in early February.)
- You indicated that you will file or are not going to file a federal income tax return. (You will be given the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool only if you indicate that you have already completed your federal income tax return.)
- You are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
- You do not have a valid Social Security Number.
- Your marital status changed after December 31 of the previous calendar year.
What do I do if I'm unable to use IRS Data Retrieval? Expand
Students and parents who are unable to use the retrieval tool can submit a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS once they have filed their federal income taxes.
To receive a transcript, the tax filer needs to request a Tax Return Transcript. This can be done online at www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript or by calling 1-800-908-9946. Be sure to request the IRS Tax Return Transcript and not a IRS Tax Account Transcript.
Note: Once you receive tax transcripts in the mail from IRS, attach them to any required verification worksheet and submit as a package. If you are not requested to complete a verification worksheet, please submit all required tax transcripts together to speed processing at UC.