Using IRS Data Retrieval on the FAFSA

Beginning with the 2012-2013 Free Application for Federal Student (FAFSA), students and parents who opt not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process and who subsequently are selected for verification, will be required to update their FAFSA utilizing the IRS Data Retrieval Process or obtain tax transcripts directly from the IRS. This could lead to delays in processing.  Contact (800) TAX-1040 regarding any difficulties with receiving a tax transcript. 

Determining who will be selected for verification in advance is not possible, therefore we strongly recommend that students and parents use the IRS Data Retrieval Process when completing the FAFSA. The IRS Data Retrieval Process will be available beginning February 1, 2012.  The IRS Data Retrieval Process will not be available until 2-3 weeks after federal taxes have been filed electronically.  Paper tax filers won't have IRS Data available until 6-8 weeks of filing.  If a student plans to submit their FAFSA before they or their parents have completed a 2011 Federal Tax Return, they should utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update their FAFSA record once the returns have been submitted and the income data is available to be retrieved. 

The following situations would not be eligible to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Process:                                 

  • When a married independent applicant and spouse file separate tax returns.
  • When the parents of a dependent student filed separate tax returns.
  • When an applicant or applicant's parent had a change in their marital  status after the end of the tax year on December 31, 2011.
  • When the applicant, or parent or spouse, as applicable, filed an amended tax return.

For more information please review: https://fafsa.ed.gov/fotw1112/help/irshlp8.htm.