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IRS Data Retrieval and IRS Tax Transcripts


Students and parents who have already filed their IRS tax return will be able to select the IRS Data Retrieval option on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to transfer tax information to the FAFSA. We strongly encourage you to select this option when you apply or when subsequent corrections are made to your FAFSA.  This option will streamline and expedite the processing of your financial aid application. According to the IRS, this tool cannot be used until:
•    3 weeks after electronically filing tax returns
•    up to 11 weeks after filing paper tax returns 

When either a parent or student selects the IRS Data Retrieval option, the FAFSA Central Processing System (CPS) will conduct a data match with the IRS. As the federal income tax filer, you will be redirected to a secure IRS website, where you will permit the IRS to transfer income data to the FAFSA. Data that is successfully matched will be marked on the FAFSA with the following notation, “Transferred from the IRS.” This process avoids reporting errors and processing delays that can otherwise occur when the option is not selected.

Financial Aid offices will no longer be able to collect copies of income tax returns submitted directly by parents and students.  If your FAFSA is selected for verification, using the IRS Retrieval Tool is the best option.  If you have not already used the Data Retrieval Tool, log back into your FAFSA record and select “Make FAFSA Corrections.” Then, navigate to the “Financial Information” section of the form and  follow the instructions to determine if you, or your parent, are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer the IRS income tax information. Some reasons that you may not choose this option are if:

  • Your (or your parent’s) marital status changed after December 31st of the income tax year
  • You (or your parent) filed married filing separately
  • You (or your parent) filed an amended tax return *  
  • You (or your parent) filed a foreign tax return.  
For more detailed instructions on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, click here.

If you are unable to choose this option, then you must submit to the Financial Aid Services the IRS Tax Return Transcript(s), NOT photocopies of the income tax returns.    


There are two ways to obtain your IRS Tax Return Transcripts:
  1. To obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript, go to, and click on either the “Get Transcript Online” or “Get Transcript by Mail.”

  2. To print out a paper request form, Form 4506-T, got to and mail or fax this form to the address of state you lived in.  An address chart is on the second page of the Form 4506-T.
*However, if an amended tax return was filed, BOTH an “IRS Tax Return Transcript” and a copy of your 1040X Form are needed for verification to be completed.

For more detailed instructions on how to obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript, click here. 

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