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Using the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool

IRS data is available within one to two weeks of electronically filing your taxes or within six to eight weeks after filing a paper tax return.  You MUST have already completed your income tax return to use the DRT.

Who can use it?

Who CAN use the IRS Data Retrieval System:

  • Have a valid SSN
  • Have filed a 2011 federal tax return
  • Have NOT have changed marital status since December 31, 2011

Who CANNOT use the IRS Data Retrieval tool for 2012-2013:

  • Parents with all zeroes for SSN
  • Any student or parent with a marital status date of January 1, 2012 or later
  • Any student or parent who indicated on the FAFSA they have not already filed a tax return or will not file a tax return.
  • If the student (and spouse if applicable) or parent filed as Married filing separately tax returns. You CAN do the data retrieval for one (parent/student) and not the other (parent/student).
  • The applicant, parent, or spouse, as applicable, who have filed an amended tax return

 How the IRS DRT works:

1.  Log in to the FAFSA.


2.  On the Financial Information tab, in the first drop-down box select “Already completed” and you will be presented with a series of questions that determine your eligibility to use the tool.

Already Completed

4.  If you select “None of the above”, you will be presented the option to use the IRS DRT.

None of the Above

5.  Enter your PIN and click Link To IRS. (You will not be asked to enter your PIN if you entered a PIN to begin your FAFSA.)

Leaving FAFSA

6.  Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS web site.

7.  On the IRS web site, enter the requested information. . Make sure you enter info EXACTLY as it would be on your tax return (example: if you filed as 2nd street don’t enter in Second Street).

IRS Get Info

8.  Once the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display. You can either transfer your information from the IRS, or choose to return to FAFSA on the web from the IRS web site. If you do not transfer your information or choose not to return from the IRS web site, you will have to login to open your saved FAFSA.

IRS Info

9.  If you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with tax information will be marked with “Transferred from the IRS.”

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