IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and transfer the data directly into their FAFSA from the IRS Web site.

If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using the tool for several reasons:

  1. It’s the easiest way to provide your tax data.
  2. It’s the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.
  3. You won’t need to provide a copy of your or your parents’ tax returns to Salisbury University.

Am I eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

Most students and parents are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if they have already filed their taxes.

However, there are a few scenarios in which students and parents are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, such as:

  • The student/parent is married, and either the student/parent or his/her spouse filed as Married Filing Separately.
  • The student/parent is married, and either the student/parent or his/her spouse filed as Head of Household.
  • The parents' marital status is "Unmarried and both parents living together."
  • The student/parent filed an amended tax return.
  • The student/parent filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return.

Additionally, students or parents who filed their tax returns electronically within the last three weeks, or through the mail within the last 11 weeks, might need to enter their tax return information manually or return at a later date to transfer their tax return information into the FAFSA, as their tax return information might not be available for transfer from the IRS.

How do I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, update the tax filing status of "Will File" to "Already Filed," then click Link To IRS to transfer your tax return information from the IRS Web site into your FAFSA. If you/your parent(s) tax filing status is showing, "Already Filed," continue by selecting the IRS Data Retrieval option and have their income information transferred from the IRS to your FAFSA. A successful transfer/confirmation will allow us to forgo the need to obtain a 2013 Tax Return Transcript, so long as income data fields are not subsequently changed by you/your parents on the FAFSA. Our office highly recommends this option because it avoids reporting errors and significant processing delays that can otherwise occur when the option is not selected.

If you are ineligible or otherwise choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to retrieve tax information, you will be required to submit a copy of your/ your parent(s) IRS Tax Return Transcript (not an Account Transcript, unless an amended tax return was filed). This option is available 2-3 weeks after an electronically filed tax return is filed and 8-11 weeks after paper tax return is filed with the IRS.

To request a 2013 IRS Tax Transcript from the IRS, use the following guide.

Why is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool not working?

If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool but have tried unsuccessfully to use it, there could be several reasons why it is not working for you:

  • The IRS Web site might be offline or experiencing some other technical issues.
  • If you filed your taxes electronically within the last three weeks or via postal mail within the last 11 weeks, your tax information might not be available to be transferred into your FAFSA yet.
  • The address you provided does not match the address you included on your most recent tax returns. In order for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to work successfully, you must enter your address information on the IRS Web site so that it identically matches the address on your tax returns. (This includes variations in spelling and abbreviations.)
  • Your federal tax return indicated a balance owed, which may result in a delay in processing.