IRS Data Retrieval Tool

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

If you are a student or parent, you can now access your IRS tax return information using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and have the option to automatically transfer the required tax data onto the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. This is an easy and secure way to complete the required tax information on your FAFSA.

If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using the tool for several reasons:

  1. It’s the easiest way to provide your tax data
  2. It’s the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information
  3. It reduces your chances of being selected for the verification process and not being asked to provide a copy of your or your parents’ tax returns for your school’s financial aid office

Who can use it?

If you or your parents meet the following criteria, you’ll be given the option to retrieve, display and transfer your federal tax information:

  • If you filed a 2016 tax return
  • If you have a valid Social Security Number
  • If you have a Federal Student Aid ID (If you do not have a ID, you will be given the option to apply for one through the FAFSA application process)
  • If your marital status has not changed since Dec. 31, 2016

Who should not use it?

If any of the following conditions apply to you or your parents, you should not use this tool:

  • If you did not file a federal tax return for 2016
  • If your 2016 federal tax filing status is married filing separately
  • If you filed both a federal tax return and a foreign return

If you cannot or do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide tax information and your college requests a copy of your tax return or your parents’ tax return, you may be required to obtain an official tax transcript from the IRS. To order tax transcripts, go to Order a Return or Account Transcript at or call the Transcript toll-free line at 800.908.9946.


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