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SALISBURY UNIVERSITY

Financial Aid Office

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

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The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (located on the FAFSA) 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 tax return transcripts to Salisbury University.
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Am I eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

Most students and parents are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool because 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.
  • Return recently filed with the IRS.
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How do I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?

If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool you will need to access your FAFSA.

  • Log In to your FAFSA
  • Click on Making FAFSA Corrections
  • Click on the Financial Information tab
  • Navigate to "Student/Parent Finances" (Student/Parent Financial Information) pages
  • Click on the "Link to the IRS" button. Tip: In order for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to work successfully, you must enter the primary tax filer's SSN, Date of Birth, and street address so that it identically matches the address on the tax return. (This includes variations in spelling, upper/lower case and abbreviations). 
  • Once linked to the IRS and data is transferred into the FAFSA, navigate to the "Sign & Submit My FAFSA"

If you choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will be required to submit a copy of your/your parent(s) IRS Tax Return Transcript (not an Account Transcript).

To request a 2015 IRS Tax Transcript from the IRS, use the following guide.

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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.

If you have questions regarding using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool please contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243 or visit https://fafsa.gov and click the "Help" icon at the top of the FAFSA home page.

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