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IRS Data Retrieval and tax return transcripts



If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one when logging in to www.fafsa.gov. You can use your FSA ID to sign a FAFSA right away. Once the Social Security Administration verifies your information in one to three days, or if you have linked your PIN to your FSA ID, you will be able to use your FSA ID. Important tips: Only the owner of the FSA ID should create and use the account. Never share your FSA ID. Each FSA ID must have a unique email address. (You and your parent cannot use the same email address.)

IRS Data Retrieval and tax return transcripts

Students applying for any federal, institutional, or state aid must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Please make sure to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA.

Enrollment Services can only accept federal tax return information directly from the IRS. We cannot accept copies of individual tax returns. The IRS DRT transfers IRS data directly into the FAFSA. If you are unable to use the IRS DRT, we require a copy of the 2020 tax return transcript. 

You are not eligible to use the IRS DRT and must submit the tax return transcript if:

  • You filed married filing separately.
  • You are married and you filed as head of household.
  • Your address on the FASFA is different than the address on your tax return.
  • Your current marital status is different than it was on your tax return.
  • Parent’s marital status is “unmarried and both parents living together”.
  • You still owe money for taxes to the IRS. The IRS data will be available after the balance has been paid.
  • You filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) instructions

  1. Log in to your current FAFSA form or start a new application at fafsa.gov
  2. In the finances section of the online form, you will see a “Link to IRS” button if you are eligible to use the IRS DRT. 
  3. Click the “Link to IRS” button and log in with your FSA ID to be transferred to the IRS to retrieve your info. 
  4. Once at the IRS site, enter your information exactly as it appears on your federal income tax return and click the “Submit” button. 
  5. Check the “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA form” box, and click the “Transfer Now” button. 
  6. You will know that your federal tax return information has been successfully transferred because the words “Transferred from the IRS” will display in place of the IRS information in your FAFSA form. 

For your protection, your tax information will not be displayed on either the IRS site or fafsa.gov.

* Independent students do not need to submit their parent’s information, but should use the above steps for entering their tax information.

* Do not make any adjustments to the tax information once it has been transferred to the FAFSA. If any information is incorrect, please contact Enrollment Services.

Tax Return Transcript instructions:

If you are unable to use the IRS DRT, please submit a copy of the 2020 IRS tax return transcript (NOT the income tax return). To obtain an IRS tax return transcript, go online to www.irs.gov/transcripts or call 1-800-908-9946. Make sure to order the IRS tax return transcript and not the IRS tax account transcript.

* If your address has changed since you filed your tax return, you may need to complete IRS Form 4506-T to request the tax return transcript.

Amended Tax Return

An individual who filed an amended IRS income tax return for tax year 2020 must provide:

  • A 2020 IRS Tax Return Transcript (that will only include information from the original tax return and does not have to be signed), or any other IRS tax transcript(s) that includes all of the income and tax information required to be verified; and
  • A signed copy of the 2020 IRS Form 1040X, “Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” that was filed with the IRS.

Victims of Identity Theft

An individual who was the victim of IRS tax-related identity theft must provide:

  • A 2020 Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV) transcript obtained from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-4490, or any other IRS tax transcript(s) that includes all of the income and tax information required to be verified; and
  • A statement signed and dated by the tax filer indicating that he or she was a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS is aware of the tax-related identity theft.