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IRS Data Retrieval and tax return transcripts


If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one when logging in to www.fafsa.gov. You can use your FSA ID to sign a FAFSA right away. Once the Social Security Administration verifies your information in one to three days, or if you have linked your PIN to your FSA ID, you will be able to use your FSA ID. Important tips: Only the owner of the FSA ID should create and use the account. Never share your FSA ID. Each FSA ID must have a unique email address. (You and your parent cannot use the same email address.)

IRS Data Retrieval and tax return transcripts

Students applying for any federal, institutional, or state aid must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov. Please make sure to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA.

Student Administrative Services (SAS) can only accept federal tax return information directly from the IRS. We cannot accept copies of individual tax returns. The IRS DRT transfers IRS data directly into the FAFSA. If you are unable to use the IRS DRT, we require a copy of the tax return transcript. 

You are not eligible to use the IRS DRT and must submit the tax return transcript if:

 You filed an amended tax return.
 You filed married filing separately.
 You are married and you filed as head of household.
 Your address on the FASFA is different than the address on your tax return.
 Your current marital status is different than it was on your tax return.
 Parent’s marital status is “unmarried and both parents living together”.
 You still owe money for taxes to the IRS. The IRS data will be available after the balance has been paid.
 You filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) instructions

  1. Log in to your current FAFSA form or start a new application at fafsa.gov
  2. 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. 
  3. Click the “Link to IRS” button and log in with your FSA ID to be transferred to the IRS to retrieve your info. 
  4. Once at the IRS site, enter your information exactly as it appears on your federal income tax return and click the “Submit” button. 
  5. Check the “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA form” box, and click the “Transfer Now” button. 
  6. 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.

* Independent students do not need to submit their parent’s information, but should use the above steps for entering their tax information.

* Do not make any adjustments to the tax information once it has been transferred to the FAFSA. If any information is incorrect, please contact SAS.

Tax Return Transcript instructions:

If you are unable to use the IRS DRT, please submit a copy of the IRS tax return transcript (NOT the income tax return). To obtain an IRS tax return transcript, go online to www.irs.gov/transcripts or call 1-800-908-9946. Make sure to order the IRS tax return transcript and not the IRS tax account transcript.

* If your address has changed since you filed your tax return, you may need to complete IRS Form 4506-T to request the tax return transcript.

* If you filed an amended tax return, you will need to submit a signed copy of the 1040X that was filed. 

Victims of Identity Theft

Victims of identity theft are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or to request a Tax Return Transcript until the issue has been resolved. You will need to call the IRS’s Identity Protection Specialized Unit toll-free number at 800-908-4490. The IRS will mail an alternative document unique to identity theft issues known as the TRDBV (Tax Return DataBase View).  Submit the TRDBV to SAS along with a signed and dated statement from the filers that they are victims of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of this.