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.
IRS Get Transcript Tutorial
If you need a copy of your Federal Tax transcript, you may be able to download it quickly from the IRS website.
This tutorial will show you how to do that.
Go to www.IRS.gov .
Under the Tools section, click on the “Get Transcript of your tax records” option.
This will take you to the page where you can either get your transcript on-line, or request a copy be mailed to you.
To get your transcript immediately on-line, click the “Get Transcript Online” option.
You will need to create a user account. Click on “Create an account”.
Enter your first name, last name and email.
You will be asked to enter your email again to confirm.
Click on the “Send email confirmation code” button.
A confirmation code will be sent to your email which you will need to retrieve.
Once you have your confirmation code, enter it in the boxes under “enter confirmation code”.
Next click “verify email confirmation code”.
This will take you to step 3 where you will enter your name, email, social security number, birthdate, filing status, and address.
You may also enter your phone number, however this is not required.
You will then be given the option to either continue as a guest user, or create a permanent account.
Creating a permanent account is a more in depth process than continuing as a guest user.
You will be able to get your tax transcript as a guest user and this is the quickest route.
Please note that if you need to return to retrieve a copy of your tax transcript again at a later date and do not create a permanent account, you will need to complete these first three steps again, as well as the next step.
To proceed as a guest, check the box and click continue to move on to step four where you will be asked a series of questions to further verify your identity.
After you have answered these questions, click continue.
You will then be presented with a list of reasons to choose from which best describes why you are requesting your transcript.
Your answer will determine which form is best suited for your needs.
If you are requesting your tax transcript for FAFSA completion, correction, or other school related issues, click on “Higher Education/Student Aid”.
The “Return Transcript” box will be highlighted.
Click on the tax year you need your transcript for.
Your pop up blocker must be turned off.
Your tax return transcript will download in a separate window.
From here, you can save and/or print your tax transcript.