Students are encouraged to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA application as the fastest, most accurate way to verify tax data. Click here for instructions.
What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
The Office of Federal Student Aid and the Internal Revenue Service have worked together to develop a process, known as the IRS Data Retrieval Process, to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This tool allows applicants and parents to automatically upload tax data from the requested year into the FAFSA application rather than through manual data entry. This option is encouraged to ensure accuracy but families must actively choose to use this tool. When you choose to do so, you will be transferred to the Internal Revenue Service web site. You will need to authenticate your identity before any personal information is displayed.
Some Families Will Not Be Able to Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool:
- independent married student or parents of a dependent student that filed separate tax returns
- dependent student's legal parents are unmarried but living together
- independent student or parent of dependent student that had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year
- student or parent that filed an amended tax return (1040X)
- student or parent that filed a foreign tax return
Please note: If you are eligible to use the Data Retrieval Tool but chose not to during FAFSA completion, you can login and correct this at any time. Be sure to re-submit your FAFSA application after making any corrections.
All Tax Verivication Options:
If you are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, but have been selected to verify tax data, you have other options available to verify yours, or your parents' tax data. Please use the chart below to determine which forms are required based on filing status. Visit the IRS - Student Financial Aid page for information about requesting an IRS Tax Return Transcript. Click here to access Form 4506-T.
The 2020-2021 FAFSA requires 2018 tax data. If you have been selected to verify this, you will need to provide data from the 2018 tax year.