How to Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on your FAFSA

You can include your tax information on your FAFSA application using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Completing this process online is the most efficient way to move through the financial aid verification process.


You will not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool if:

  • you filed your tax return within the past two weeks
  • you filed an amended tax return
  • your filing status is “Married Filing Separately”
  • your filing status is “Head of Household” and you actually are married (but not separated or divorced)

If you are unable to include your tax information on your FAFSA application, you can request an IRS Tax Return Transcript by telephone, online (Get Transcript), by mail or fax.


If you have already started your FAFSA application and want to add or update your tax information, you will need to follow the instructions for correcting your FAFSA.

This short IRS Data Retrieval Tool video (under 3 minutes) outlines the process of using the tool with your FAFSA application.

  1. Go to and select "Login."
  2. Enter your student name, social security number and date of birth, then select "Next."
  3. If your FAFSA has previously been submitted, select "Make FAFSA Corrections."
  4. Enter your FSA ID and password created when your FAFSA was filed.
  5. Select "Financial Information." If your parent income tax return has been completed and submitted, select "Already Completed."|
    If you provided parent financial information on the FAFSA, your parent tax information will be displayed. Select the correct answer for each of the questions. You will be leaving FAFSA on the Web. Select "OK" to Leave FAFSA on the Web.
  6. If no is selected for all questions, enter your parent FSA ID and select Link to IRS.
  7. To enter the IRS system, select "OK."
  8. On the IRS website, enter the requested information.
  9. When the requested information has been entered exactly how it appears on the IRS Income Tax Return, select Submit.
    1. If the IRS is able to validate your identification, the IRS tax information will display.
    2. If any part of the street address on the tax return is abbreviated, eliminate all punctuation and verify that the street address on the FAFSA is exactly the same as on your IRS Income Tax Return.
      Example: If the street address on the IRS Income Tax Return is 104 E. Main St., it should be entered as 104 E Main St on the FAFSA.
      IRS Income Tax Returns that are filed using only a PO box should be entered on the street address line.
  10. Return to the FAFSA website using the links provided.
  11. If the student has completed and submitted an IRS Income Tax Return, proceed to the Student Financial Information section under Financial Information (located in the top menu navigation bar). Repeat steps 3-13 to retrieve the student tax information.
  12. After the student income tax information is transferred into the FAFSA, select "Sign & Submit" in the top menu navigation.
  13. Proceed with signing and submitting the FAFSA.
  14. Select "Submit My FAFSA Now." A confirmation number displays to verify submission.

Need Help? If you are still having trouble, you can call the FAFSA hotline at 1-800-433-3243.