IRS Data Retrieval Tool
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 prior prior 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.
**New for the 2018-2019 academic year from the US Department of Education, "To enhance the security and privacy of the sensitive personal data transferred into the FAFSA form from the IRS, the new solution will encrypt the applicant’s or parent’s information and hide it from view on both the IRS DRT website and on the FAFSA web pages." Therefore, you will not be able to view the amounts that have been transferred from the IRS onto your FAFSA.
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:
- Click ‘Link to the IRS’ to be transferred directly to the IRS website
- Once on the IRS website, enter the requested user-verification information
- Once the IRS has verified your information, you will be provided a list of all the possible fields from a tax return that could transfer back into the FAFSA form. However, applicants and parents will not be able to view their tax return information on the IRS DRT web page.
- Choose to transfer your tax information from the IRS into your FAFSA. Please note: you will not be able to view the transferred income and tax information on the FAFSA web pages. Instead of the transferred information, you will see the words “Transferred from the IRS” in the data entry fields throughout the online FAFSA form and on the Student Aid Report (SAR).
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
- 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 an IRS Tax Return Transcript to the Villanova University Office of Financial Assistance. Students and parents may request an official copy of their Tax Return Transcript from the IRS. If a Foreign Tax Return was filed, the student and/or parent must submit a transcript from the relevant taxing authority listing tax account information for the tax year, if the transcript can be obtained at no cost. If the tax filer cannot obtain a free copy of their transcript, then a copy of the signed tax return filed with the taxing authority is acceptable. The student and/or parent(s)/stepparent 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. Please note that this is ony effective for the 2017-2018 academic year. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available for the 2018-2019 academic year.