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IRS Data Retrieval Process



Population unable to use IRS Data Retrieval:

  • Federal tax returns have not been filed
  • The person did not indicate on the FAFSA that the tax return has been completed.
  • Married parents of an applicant filed separate taxes
  • Marriage status of the applicant or the applicant's parent changed after the end of the year
  • Tax filers who owe back taxes
  • Filed amended tax returns
  • Filed foreign tax returns

Note: Tax information electronically filed within the last 3 weeks or submitted by mail within the last 8 weeks may not be available. If you are unable to use IRS Data Retrieval, please order and submit a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS. 

How to Use IRS Data Retrieval

Make sure your pop-up blocker has been disabled

Step-by-step instructions are listed below:

Log on to your FAFSA ( with your PIN.

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After entering the student's information, click "Next."

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After logging in, click on "Make FAFSA Corrections".

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You will have to enter your password, and re-enter your password.

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Click on the "Financial Information" tab.

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It will prompt you to start the IRS Data Retrieval tool.

Change your filing status from "Will File" to "Already Completed."

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This will bring up the first IRS Data Retrieval box

After answering questions regarding your tax return, click the button "Link to IRS"

This will connect you to the IRS website, which will create a new screen. This is screen is a just a warning screen.

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Once you have connected to the IRS website:

  • Enter information exactly as it appears on your tax return, then click "Submit."

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  • Select the appropriate box below (red arrow)

  • Select "Transfer Now" (purple arrow)

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This will bring you back to the FAFSA page, confirming your information has transferred. If the information was successfully transferred you will see the box below with the 'green' check. Click "Next" but DO NOT EXIT OUT OF YOUR FAFSA. Otherwise, your Data Retrieval attempt will be invalid.

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The next screen is to confirm that the transferred information is correct. Do not make changes!

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After clicking on "Next," you will need to agree to the terms and conditions, then sign the confirmation page.

  • Click the corresponding fields to agree with the Terms and Conditions.

  • Then Click "Submit My FAFSA Now"

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The last page is a confirmation page. The final step is to click "Print This Page."

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Last Updated: 3/25/14