Step 4 - IRS Data Retrieval Process

The US Department of Education has recently enhanced the FAFSA filing process to allow you and your parents to retrieve tax data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will allow you and your parents to upload your filed 2013 federal tax return data directly to your FAFSA. We strongly encourage you to use this tool during the initial filing or when submitting corrections to your 2014-2015 FAFSA. 

**Please Note: The FAFSA on the Web IRS Data Retrieval Tool or a 2013 IRS Tax Return Transcript is required in order to have files verified and aid credited to the student's account.  Some families may not be able to complete this process right now, which we understand, but it MUST be completed once available.  To view the Department of Education's Notice of Availability of 2013 IRS Information for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and for Requesting IRS Tax Return Transcripts please click here.

 

Eligibility

You and your parents are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the www.fafsa.gov website if you:

  • Filed your 2013 federal tax return with the IRS.  You can only use the tool if you do not owe taxes, or have submitted payment for your taxes to the IRS. 
  • Have a valid social security number.
  • Have a Federal Student Aid PIN (if you do not have a PIN, you will be given the option to apply for one)

You and your parents are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:

  • Your marital status changed after December 31, 2013.
  • You filed married filing separately.
  • You filed Head of Household, but listed married as marital status on FAFSA application.
  • You filed an amended return.
  • You filed a foreign tax return.
  • You filed a tax return using a Tax ID Number (TIN).
  • The home address on the FAFSA does not match the address on the tax return.

The primary tax filer must access the IRS Data Retrieval Tool through the www.fafsa.gov website by logging in with their PIN number and completing the IRS Data Retrieval process.  If the primary tax filer does not have a FAFSA PIN please go to www.pin.ed.gov to retrieve a PIN.

Please note that signed copies of your 2013 federal tax returns, along with all schedules and W-2 forms, still must be submitted directly to IDOC (linked) as part of Villanova’s financial aid application process.

The Process

1. Visit www.fafsa.gov and click “Login”, enter the student's personal information, then click on “Make FAFSA Corrections”. Once in the FAFSA, navigate to the "Financial Information" tab, where the option to use the tool will display for eligible students and parents.  Make sure that you have corrected your filing status from "Will File" to "Already Completed" to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

2. You must ensure that the name and address of the FIRST PERSON LISTED on a joint tax return is the same on the FAFSA as it shows on the tax return.  When inputting your information on the IRS' website, you must enter your name and address EXACTLY as it appears on your tax return, including all punctuations, abbreviations, and spacing.

3. When you have finished completing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool process, please be sure to resign the FAFSA with your four-digit FAFSA PIN number. The IRS Data Retrieval process will remain incomplete without this important final step being completed.  In addition, you must NOT change any information that was transferred from the IRS otherwise the FAFSA will be considered invalid and consequently you will then be required to submit your 2013 Tax Return Transcripts from the IRS to our office.

Obtain a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS

If you and/or your parents are not eligible, or choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when updating your FAFSA, the US Department of Education requires our office to collect a certified tax return transcript processed by the IRS. Please note that parents who are married but filing separately must submit 2 separate IRS tax return transcripts. Transcripts are not required for those filing a foreign or Puerto Rican tax return.

There are three ways to request your tax return transcript: by phone, online, or by mail. Please make sure you request a Tax Return Transcript. Do not request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account because they cannot be used for financial aid verification purposes. Please be advised that our office cannot verify your financial aid award without a tax return transcript or the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

To obtain a tax return transcript online please follow these steps:

  • Go to http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript
  • Click "Get Transcript Online"
  • Click "Create An Account," complete the required 6 steps to create your profile
  • Select "Return Transcript" for Tax Year (i.e., 2013).
  • Print out Transcript

To obtain a tax return transcript by phone please follow these steps:

  • Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 (7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.).
  • Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their Social Security Number and the numbers of their street address. Generally, these will be the numbers of the street address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the U.S. Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
  • Select "Option 2" to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript, and then enter "2013."
  • If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in their telephone request within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.
  • IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested by telephone cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.

To obtain a tax return transcript by mail please follow these steps:

  • Complete Form 4506T-EZ (Request for Transcript of Tax Return).
  • Form 4506-T is available online.
  • Mail or fax the completed IRS Form to the appropriate address (or fax number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506T-EZ.
  • Your transcript(s) will be mailed within 5 to 10 days from the IRS.