The federal verification process of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be lengthy and delay the awarding of financial aid to students. Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA will allow students and parents to import tax information directly from the IRS.
Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is an easy tool available to provide tax information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you meet eligibility requirements and have already filed, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will allow you to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA and will transfer that data directly into your FAFSA from the IRS website. If you don’t use the IRS Retrieval Tool, colleges may require that you submit a copy of your tax transcript from the IRS or your parents’ tax transcript if you’re a dependent student.
If you are selected for verification, log back in to the FAFSA application and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to cut processing time.
Tax data from the IRS is available through the FAFSA tool about two weeks after filing your taxes electronically, or eight weeks after filing your taxes by mail.
Jennifer Harpham has worked in financial aid administration since 1991 and has served as the director of central financial aid for Tidewater Community College since 2005. Harpham holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and a master’s degree in business administration from The University of Findlay. She is a member of both the National and Virginia Associations of Student Financial Aid Administrators.