What is it?
The IRS Data Retrieval tool is available for online FAFSA submittals and is accessible through the FAFSA web site. The retrieval tool provides FAFSA applicants and parents with the ability to transfer their income information from the IRS directly to the FAFSA.
How does it work?
FAFSA on the Web applicants and parents of dependent applicants who indicate they have filed a 2013 federal tax return will be given the option to leave the FAFSA site and pull their information directly from the IRS website. A FAFSA PIN will be required to use the Date Retrieval tool.
Applicants and parents who indicate they will file a 2013 federal tax return will receive email communication(s) directing them to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool to update their income information once they have filed their 2013 federal income tax return. This may be done by logging back into the 2014-2015 FAFSA, selecting the option to update, clicking into the Financial Information section, and changing the filing status from “will file” to “already completed”. You will be asked a series of questions to determine whether or not you (or your parents) are eligible to use the tool. If eligible, you will be given instructions on how to link your Federal Tax Return information to the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval tool.
NOTE: Your changes are not sent to PSU until you continue to the “Sign & Submit” section of the FAFSA, complete all of the required fields, and click “Submit my FAFSA Now.”
Applicants and parents may also skip the option to use Data Retrieval.
What if I haven’t completed my taxes yet?
If you haven’t completed your taxes yet, you will not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval until you do. However, you can still use estimates to complete your FAFSA and file prior to PSU’s March 1 priority deadline. You can come back later to complete the Data Retrieval process after you have filed your tax return.
How long will it take for my tax information to be available through IRS Data Retrieval?
Typically, the IRS quotes 2 to 12 weeks from the the date of filing. The length of time varies depending on whether you filed electronically or by mail, or if you recieved a refund or have payment due. You can determine if your tax information is available by contacting the IRS directly.
What should I do if I am unable to access my tax information using the Data Retrieval process?
In some case, applicants or parents may not be able to use the Data Retrieval tool. These include:
- Married couples who file separate tax returns.
- Applicants whose marital status has changed as of January 1st, 2013.
- Applicants who are neither eligible nor required to file a 2013 Federal Tax Return.
If you are not selected for Federal Verification you may not have to do anything other than complete the FAFSA. We will contact the student using their PSU email if we need additional information.
Those chosen for Federal Verification who are not eligible to use the tool may request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS to satisfy the tax requirement.
What should I do if I don’t want to use the Data Retrieval process?
Use of the Data Retrieval tool is completely optional. However, applicants selected for the verification process will be required to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool OR to request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS which can later be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. Tax Return Transcripts are generally received within 10 business days from the time the IRS processes the request.
Applicants who use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool but subsequently change the income information must submit a copy of their paper Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.