Financial Aid
Holloway Hall

IRS Data Retrieval Option

Beginning February 1, 2012, students and parents who have submitted their 2011 Federal Income Tax Return prior to completing the FAFSA will be able to select the IRS Data Retrieval option on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to transfer certain tax information to the FAFSA. Salisbury University highly recommends the use of the IRS Data Retrieval option during the initial filing or when subsequent corrections are made to your 2012-2013 FAFSA. Although this has been an option for several years it provides the fastest, easiest and most secure solution for meeting certain verification requirements.

We realize that many applicants will not have their Federal Tax Returns completed by the FAFSA priority application deadline of March 1. These applicants can use “estimated income” information on the initial FAFSA and return to FAFSA on the Web for corrections once their tax returns are completed.

To successfully use this option you must:
  • Have a federal tax return filed with the IRS.
  • Have a valid social security number.
  • Have a Federal Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN)
You will be unable to use this option if:
  • Your marital status changes after December 31, 2011.
  • You filed married filing separately.
  • You filed an amended return.
  • You filed a foreign tax return.
  • You completed a paper FAFSA.

If on the FAFSA you will list your tax filing status as “Will File” because you had not yet filed a return, please remember to change this status to “Already Filed,” update all relevant income fields to your FAFSA, and select the IRS Data Retrieval option once you have actually submitted a federal income tax return to the IRS.

According to the IRS, electronically filed tax return information will be available online from the IRS site in 1-2 weeks after the return has been filed. Data from paper tax returns will be available in 6-8 weeks.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification, and you chose not to use this option or you changed the IRS data, you will be required to provide an IRS Tax Return Transcript and copies of W2’s to the Financial Aid Office. New for 2012-2013: Personal copies of tax returns can no longer be accepted. This will be a major change for parents and student as well as the Financial Aid Office.


How It Works

When 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 CPS. Data that is successfully matched will be marked on the FAFSA with the following notation, “Transferred from the IRS.” It’s as simple as that.

A successful match between CPS and the IRS will allow us to forego the need for certain federal income tax return documents, so long as income data fields are not subsequently changed on your FAFSA. This process avoids reporting errors and processing delays that can otherwise occur when the option is not selected. Please note that you may still be required to supply other income information as part of the general verification process.