IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Recently, the US Department of Education in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) introduced the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, a feature that allows students and parents to import their previous year’s tax information from their filed federal 1040 tax forms directly into the FAFSA on the Web. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool may be used when filing the initial FAFSA, or when renewing the FAFSA each academic year.

In order to access the tool, FAFSA site users must have a valid social security number, an active FSA ID Username and Password, and must first file their federal tax returns with the IRS. If you filed your taxes electronically, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool may normally be used via the FAFSA on the Web site within one-to-two weeks. If filing on paper, the Tool may not be available for approximately six-to-eight weeks past the filing date.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool may be used either while completing the online FAFSA or after the FAFSA has already been submitted via the Internet. If accessing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool during FAFSA completion, the user will be given the opportunity to utilize the Tool during the completion of the income and asset questions on both the student and parent FAFSA sections. If the decision to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is made after initial FAFSA submission, the user may then log into the FAFSA website with their FSA ID Username and Password  and complete the following steps:

  1. Click ‘Link to the IRS’ to be transferred directly to the IRS website
  2. Once on the IRS website, enter the requested user-verification information
  3. Once the IRS has verified your information, your previous year’s tax information will be displayed
  4. Choose to transfer your displayed tax information from the IRS into your FAFSA
  5. Check your FAFSA to make sure that the applicable figures populated from the IRS website

Those who are exempt from and unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool include students and parents who filed separate federal income tax returns for the previous tax year, students and parents whose marital status changed prior to the end of the applicable tax year, and filers of foreign and Puerto Rican tax returns.

If you are not able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to commit the information, you will need to submit a US Tax Return Transcript to the Villanova University Office of Financial Assistance. Students and parents may request an official copy of their 2015 Tax Return Transcript from the IRS for the 2016-2017 academic year or the 2017-2018 academic year.  Your parent(s) should sign the Tax Return Transcript and mail or fax it to the Villanova University Office of Financial Assistance.

As of March 30, 2017, the Department of Education released the following statement regarding the IRS Data Retrieval Tool: "To protect sensitive taxpayer data, the IRS and FSA announced today the Data Retrieval Tool on fafsa.gov and studentloans.gov will be unavailable until extra security protections can be added. While we are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, students and families should plan for the tool to be offline until the start of the next FAFSA season."  Due to this issue, anyone selected for federal verification for the 2017-2018 academic year will only need to submit the Verification Worksheet and Signed copies of the Federal Income Tax Returns (or the Signed Non-Tax Filer Statement if not required to file) while the Data Retrieval Tool is down.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Recently, the US Department of Education in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) introduced the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, a feature that allows students and parents to import their previous year’s tax information from their filed federal 1040 tax forms directly into the FAFSA on the Web. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool may be used when filing the initial FAFSA, or when renewing the FAFSA each academic year. read more...