IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA

EFFECTIVE MARCH 15, 2017: The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA, on both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 FAFSA forms, is not working. We are not sure how long this feature will be out of service but the U.S. Department of Education and the IRS are working on the issue. You may continue to complete a FAFSA during this time. If you are submitting a FAFSA for either year, please use actual income and tax data from your or your parents' 2015 federal income tax returns.

If your 2017-18 FAFSA was selected for the verification process you will need to request a 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript for yourself and parent, if applicable.  For instructions on how to request the Transcript see the link below.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA is a method to transfer electronically the student's or custodial parents' IRS tax information to the student's FAFSA form. All students are encouraged to use the DRT to ensure that accurate information is provided on the FAFSA. 

If the FAFSA was originally submitted with estimated tax and income data, you may make a correction on the FAFSA to use the DRT after the federal tax returns are filed and after waiting for the IRS to process the tax return. Review when your IRS tax data would be available for the DRT or to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript.

If you were selected for the verification process, and if you need to complete the Standard, Aggregate, or Household Resources Verification Worksheet, you will also need to provide the financial aid office with proof of your and your custodial parents' income. To verify income, we need either the DRT or an IRS Tax Return Transcript.

Click here for an information sheet about how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA.

Click here for a YouTube video of how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA. Please be sure to use your FSA ID whenever the tutorial mentions the federal PIN number.

Click here for an information sheet about Requesting the IRS Tax Return Transcript.

Reasons the DRT May Not Work

  1. The address on the tax return must match the address on the FAFSA. For example, Main Street instead of Main St. can result in a "no match" rejection if the tax return has the abbreviation. Adjust the IRS web page address until a "match" occurs.
  2. If the name linked to the FSA ID is different than the IRS record, change the name on the IRS pop up page; for example, if the FSA ID was created with Maggie, change the IRS page name to Margaret. Include initials if necessary.
  3. It may not be working because the tax return has not yet been processed by the IRS. See the link in the second paragraph above about when your tax data would be available.

If you have difficulty using the DRT or have questions about your FAFSA report, please call 1.800.433.3243.

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