– IRS Data Retrieval Tool –
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) Electronically Transfers Your Federal Tax Return Information Into Your FAFSA Form.
If you’re eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) but have tried unsuccessfully to use it, there could be a reason. Read on to find possible reasons why.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows applicants who have already filed their federal income tax returns to prefill the answers to some questions on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by transferring data from their federal income tax returns.
This can save the family some time in completing the FAFSA. It may also reduce the likelihood that your FAFSA will be selected for verification. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool has been available since the 2009-10 award year.
How Does the IRS Data Retrieval Tool Work?
While completing an original online FAFSA or updating an existing FAFSA, eligible applicants will be provided with an opportunity to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Applicants may be asked a few screening questions to determine their eligibility to use the tool.
Eligible applicants who choose to use the tool will be temporarily transferred to the IRS web site, where they will be asked a few questions to authenticate themselves (i.e., prove that they are who they say they are).
After the applicant has authenticated himself or herself, the IRS web site will display the data to be transferred to the FAFSA. The applicant may then choose whether or not to transfer the data.
If the applicant chooses to transfer the data, the applicant will have an opportunity to update the data, if necessary.
(An applicant who transfers the data unmodified may reduce the likelihood that their FAFSA will be selected for verification.) The applicant will then be returned to the FAFSA web site where they will complete the rest of the FAFSA.
Why Use the Tool?
- It’s the easiest way to provide your tax return information.
- It’s the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA form has accurate tax information.
- You won’t need to provide a copy of your or your parents’ tax returns to your college.
- It is fast. It instantly retrieves your information.
If you use the IRS DRT to transfer your tax return information from the IRS, the information won’t display on your FAFSA form. For your protection, the answer to each question is replaced with “Transferred from the IRS.”
How to Use the DR Tool
- Log in to your current FAFSA form or start a new application at fafsa.gov.
- 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.
- Click the “Link to IRS” button and log in with your FSA ID to be transferred to the IRS to retrieve your info.
- Once at the IRS site, enter your information exactly as it appears on your federal income tax return and click the “Submit” button.
- Check the “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA form” box, and click the “Transfer Now” button.
- 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.
Why you are Ineligible for Data Retrieval Tool
Not all families are eligible to use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). Please visit https://studentaidhelp.ed.gov/ for additional information regarding who might not be eligible to use the tool. The following are some but not all of the reasons you may not be able to use the DRT:
- The tax return was amended
- A tax filer was a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft
- The person filed a non-U.S. tax return
- The person did not file a U.S. tax return and was not required to do so
- The tax-filer’s marital status changed after December 31, 2017
- The tax filers are married but filed separate returns
- The person did not indicate on the FAFSA that the tax return has been completed
- Neither married parent entered a valid SSN
- A non-married parent or both married parents entered all zeroes for the SSN
If you are not able to use the DRT or having difficulties using the DRT, please request an IRS Tax Return transcript and submit to the Financial Aid Office.
You are Eligible but the IRS Data Retrieval Tool Is not working?
If you’re eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) but have tried unsuccessfully to use it, there could be several reasons why it isn’t working for you:
- The IRS website might be offline or experiencing some other technical issues.
- If you filed your taxes electronically within the last three weeks or via postal mail within the last 11 weeks, your tax information might not be available to be transferred into your Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA®) form yet.
- In order for the IRS DRT to work properly, you must enter all of your information (including your address) on the IRS website exactly as it appears on your tax returns.
- Your federal tax return indicated a balance owed, which may result in a delay in processing.
Why was I not Given the Option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
There are several situations in which you will not be given the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. These include:
- 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 Data Retrieval Tool only if you indicate that you have already completed your federal income tax return.)
- You’re 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.
If you have any issue trying to access the Data retrieval form, then try to find more information on StudentAid.gov/irsdrt.
By transferring data from their federal income tax returns to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), candidates who have already submitted their federal income tax returns can prefill the answers to some questions on the FAFSA.
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