How do I access the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to complete the FAFSA?

When completing the online FAFSA, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool can be accessed in the "Financial Information" section of the application. Students who have already submitted an initial FAFSA will first need to select the "Make FAFSA Corrections" option. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will only be available after the student or the student's parent(s) indicates that the federal tax return has already been completed.

What is the process to upload the federal tax data?

The parent or student will be required to provide the Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. If the parent or student does not yet have an FSA ID, he or she may apply for it at this point. The FSA ID is also used to electronically sign the FAFSA. After supplying the FSA ID, the applicant will be transferred to the IRS website where identification is validated, including the exact address on record with the IRS. If a successful match is made, the federal tax data can then be transferred to the FAFSA. Note that, for security purposes, the IRS tax information will not appear on the screen. The data will transfer to the FAFSA, but not be viewable by the user.

Who can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

After electronically filing federal taxes, tax data should be available to access through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within two weeks. Tax data should be available within 6 to 8 weeks if the tax return is mailed. The following individuals are NOT eligible to use the IRS DRT:

  • Filers of a foreign tax return
  • Married individuals who filed with a head of household or married filing separately tax status
  • Anyone who lists a different home address on the FAFSA than on the tax return
  • Victims of identity theft on their tax return (within the last 3 years)
  • Anyone who had a change of marital status after the end of the tax year
  • Anyone using a Tax ID Number (TIN)

You can learn more about the IRS DRT here.