I.R.S. Data Retrieval
Officials in the Office of Federal Student Aid and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have worked together to develop a process to simplify the steps that families must take each year to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ("FAFSA") .
The "FAFSA on the Web" site has been redesigned to simplify, enhance, streamline, and expedite the application process for applicants by allowing applicants and parents to retrieve tax data from the IRS. This new process is called the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. We strongly recommend that parents and students select this option when completing/submitting their 2016-2017 FAFSA.
As a result of the new changes, we recommend the following steps when filing the 2016-17 FAFSA:
HINT: The benefit (to families) of utilizing the IRS Data Retrieval Process is that it will greatly simplify and expedite the verification process. You will no longer have to submit complete copies of your federal tax returns to our office before we can finalize your federal aid eligibility.
How This Will Work on the 2016-2017 FAFSA
Note: All 2016-2017 FAFSA On The Web applicants, and the parents of dependent applicants, who indicate that they have filed their federal tax returns prior to completing their FAFSA and who are otherwise eligible will be directed to use the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process to complete their FAFSA more easily and accurately.
Within the FAFSA website and in the middle of the Student and/or Parent Tax Information section you should see the following
Enter your PIN and click LINK TO IRS
Step One: Enter Parents (or Students) PIN number
Step Two: Click on Link to IRS
You will then be directed to:
Families must actively choose to utilize the data retrieval tool. If they choose to do so, they will be transferred to the Internal Revenue Service web site.
Applicants will need to authenticate their identity before any person information is displayed.
Tax data will be presented and the applicant will have the option to “Transfer” the tax information to the FAFSA. Applicants can also choose NOT to transfer the data to the FAFSA.
Transferred data will have a notation - “Transferred from the IRS"
Applicants who chose not to use the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process, or who retrieve IRS data but subsequently change it, will be informed that they will need to explain to their institutions why information they provided is more accurate than the information that would have been obtained directly from the IRS. Only IRS tax return transcripts will be accepted, i.e., copies of 1040 tax returns are no longer acceptable. Instructions on how to retrieve (or the best options on retrieving) IRS Tax Return Transcripts can be found by looking under Documents and Forms for IRS Tax Return Transcript Requests.
Some Families Will Not Be Able to Use This Feature
We know that many parents will not have their federal tax returns completed by the priority application deadline of March 1st, 2016. Should you fall into this category, we encourage you to use "estimated income" information on the initial FAFSA.
Using emails and other communications, starting around April 1, 2016, Federal Student Aid will remind applicants that once they have filed their income tax return they should use the FAFSA corrections process to update their FAFSA using the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process. Subsequent messages will be sent every 45 days until mid-September then every 60 days until the end of the processing cycle.
This should allow for accurate information to be submitted and if selected for verification, this should greatly reduce the amount of time and effort needed to complete requirements for financial aid processing, awarding, and notification.