How does the IRS Data Retrieval Tool work?

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The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) allows students and parents who filed a U.S tax return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to access the tax return information needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and transfer the data directly into their FAFSA.

(Note: There are several scenarios in which you might not be given the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, including if you are not eligible to use it.)

To use the IRS DRT within the application on the student or parent finances pages:

  1. If you have already used the IRS DRT to transfer your tax return information into your application, then click the “View option to link to the IRS” hyperlink. (Note: If you are eligible to use the IRS DRT and have not previously used it to transfer your tax return information into your application, then the “View option to link to the IRS” hyperlink does not display; skip ahead to step 2.)
  2. Click Link To IRS.
  3. Enter your FSA ID. (Note: Students will not be asked to enter their FSA ID if they entered an FSA ID to begin their FAFSA.)
  4. Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS Web site.
  5. On the IRS Web site, enter the requested information exactly as it appears on your tax return. Once authenticated with the IRS, you will be provided with information surrounding your IRS tax information. You can either transfer your information from the IRS, or choose to return to FAFSA on the Web.
  6. If you use the IRS DRT to transfer your tax return information from the IRS, the information will not display on your FAFSA. For your protection, the answer to each question is replaced with "Transferred from the IRS."

The IRS DRT allows you to securely transfer original IRS tax return information, but not Form 1040X amended tax return information. If you filed a Form 1040X amended tax return, you may need to work with your Financial Aid Administrator to ensure that any information you corrected on Form 1040X is reflected in the amounts transferred to your FAFSA.

Note: The person whose tax information is being transferred should enter his or her FSA ID.

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