What is the IRS Data Retrieval Process?
The IRS Data Retrieval Process is a way to get your tax information directly from the IRS without having to have a copy of your taxes with you when you complete the FAFSA. If you have filed a Federal tax return, you will be asked if you want to retrieve your information directly from the IRS.
If you select this option, you will be guided through the process. Once your information is transferred from the IRS to your FAFSA, it will be marked that it has been transferred from the IRS. This verifies that the information on the FAFSA has been matched and verified with the IRS.
Do I have to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process?
No, you do not have to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process. However, if you have filed your Federal tax return and choose not to use this process, or enter different tax information on the FAFSA than what is recorded with the IRS, you will be required to explain to your school why your information is more accurate than what has been reported to the IRS. You may also be required to obtain a copy of your Federal tax transcript directly from the IRS to verify the information you reported on your FAFSA.
What are the advantages to using the IRS Data Retrieval Process when filing my FAFSA?
By using the IRS Data Retrieval Process, filing your FAFSA can be simpler, in that you do not need to have a copy of your tax returns with you when you file; this information is pulled directly from the IRS database. In most cases, your school’s financial aid office will not require you to provide copies of your Federal tax transcript if you use the IRS Data Retrieval Process.
When will I be able to retrieve my tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval Process?
If you file your Federal tax return electronically, your information will be available from the IRS Data Retrieval process within approximately 2 weeks of filing. If you file a paper copy of your Federal tax return, your information will be available within approximately 6 – 8 weeks.
It is advised that you file your taxes electronically in order to be able to access your recorded Federal tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval Process as soon as possible, for accurate and quick filing of your FAFSA.
Will everyone be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process when filing the FAFSA?
No, there are some instances where you will not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process.
Examples of these instances are:
o If you are married and you and your spouse filed separate Federal tax returns
o If you are a dependent student and your parents, who are married, filed separate Federal tax returns.
o If you, or your parent’s have changed marital status after December 31st
o If you, your spouse, or a parent (if dependent), has filed an amended Federal tax return.