IRS Data Retrieval Tool IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Filing your FAFSA with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Students and parents now have the option to use an IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing a FAFSA.  It is available for those who submit a FAFSA online, and it will allow you to retrieve parent and/or student tax-filing information directly from the IRS.  To fully take advantage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, please seriously consider filing your federal income tax returns as soon as possible, and before beginning your FAFSA.  Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will help you complete your FAFSA faster and more accurately than ever before!

We highly recommend you use the IRS Data Retrieval option on the FAFSA if you are eligible. Obtaining a Federal Tax Return Transcript from the IRS can cause significant delays.

Federal guidelines allow us to substitute the IRS Data Retrieval process for a tax return transcript in many cases. Data Retrieval will simplify the verification process by reducing the number of documents you need to submit to our office and will speed the verification of your FAFSA. However, parents and/or students who use the IRS Data Retrieval tool and subsequently make changes to the data on the FAFSA must still submit a tax return transcript. If you use the IRS Data Retrieval tool for the FAFSA, you should not change any of the data which is pulled from the IRS.

Certain situations may require a tax return transcript even after using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

When Will Data Be Available From the IRS?

  • Electronic Tax Filers - Data will be available within 2 weeks of filing
  • Paper Tax Filers - Data will be available within 6-8 weeks of filing


*Please note that if a tax payment is due to the IRS when an individual files their 2015 tax return and has not paid in full; the IRS will not process the return until May. A Tax Return Transcript or IRS DRT will not available until 2-3 weeks after the return has been processed in May.


Who is not eligible to use the Retrieval Tool?

  • Married couples who file separate tax returns
  • Applicants whose marital status has changed as of January 1, 2015
  • Applicants who are neither eligible nor required to file a 2015 federal tax return


Special items of note:

  • ALL applicants and parents who indicate that they HAVE FILED a 2015 federal tax return will be directed to use the Data Retrieval Tool.
  • Applicants and parents who indicate that they WILL FILE a 2015 federal tax return will receive email communications directing them to use the Data Retrieval Tool to update their income information once the Federal Income Tax Return is filed.
  • Applicants who choose not to use the Retrieval Tool OR applicants who use the Retrieval Tool but subsequently change income information will be directed by the Marywood University Financial Aid Office to submit IRS 2015 Tax Return Transcripts. The financial aid process will not continue until transcripts are received.
  • For further FAFSA information, visit http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
  • For further information about the IRS and tax-filing, visit http://www.irs.gov/


Option 1: Use IRS Data Retrieval

After logging into FAFSA at http://www.fafsa.gov/, submitting preliminary information, and indicating that you have already submitted your 2015 federal tax returns, FAFSA will direct you to the IRS website and the data retrieval tool. After clicking on “Transfer Now,” you will automatically be redirected to the FAFSA website and much of your financial data will be populated with the notation "Transferred from the IRS."

If you were selected for verification, your first step should be to log back into your FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval option if you are eligible. Then you should submit your verification worksheet and any other items which we have requested from you. If you are not eligible or choose not to use IRS Data Retrieval Tool, then you will be required to submit a 2015 Tax Return Transcript.

If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval tool when completing the FAFSA, we encourage you to do so now to speed the verification process:

  • Log into www.fafsa.gov
  • Select "Make FAFSA Corrections" and navigate to the financial data section
  • Follow the instructions to determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval process


Option 2: Obtain Transcript

If you are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you can obtain your tax return transcript in several ways.