Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Committed to making your education affordable

Did you know you can expedite the processing of your FAFSA by transferring your tax information from the IRS? The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is also used to verify income after you've applied for aid.

If you used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when you first submitted the FAFSA, you do not need to resubmit the information unless you made changes to the information on your FAFSA. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool automatically transfers your income information from the IRS directly onto your FAFSA.

Applying for Aid with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Students and parents who filed their IRS tax return are able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool option on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The IRS Data Retrieval Tool transfers your IRS income tax information directly to your FAFSA. The best way to verify income is by using this tool.

This option streamlines the processing of your application and avoids unnecessary delays in constructing your aid package. We strongly encourage you to select this option, in particular, when you file your FAFSA (after the IRS has your tax return) OR when subsequent corrections are made to your FAFSA.

NOTE: Please allow approximately two weeks from the date you filed your tax return electronically to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you chose to file a paper return, please allow 6-8 weeks for processing by the IRS.

How it Works

  • Log into fafsa.gov to complete or correct your FAFSA.
  • Click on the "Financial Information" tab at the top of the page.
  • Click "Link to IRS" to transfer your income information to your FAFSA.
  • Be sure to click "Sign & Submit" to process the corrections.

What You Need to Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

2016 - 2017 FAFSA filers need

  • A valid Social Security Number
  • An unchanged marital status as of December 31, 2015
  • If you submitted electronic 2015 tax returns to the IRS wait 2 weeks before retrieving your paper document
  • If you submitted paper 2015 returns to the IRS, wait 6-8 weeks before retrieving your IRS data

2015 - 2016 FAFSA filers need

  • A valid Social Security Number
  • An unchanged marital status as of December 31, 2014
  • If you submitted electronic 2014 tax returns to the IRS wait 2 weeks before retrieving your paper document
  • If you submitted paper 2014 returns to the IRS, wait 6-8 weeks before retrieving your IRS data

Filers unable to use this tool:

  • Students and parents who did not or will not file taxes
  • Students and parents who filed an amended tax return
  • Those with a tax status of married, filing separately
  • Those who filed a foreign tax return

Alternative Methods to Verifying Income

If you are ineligible or unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you can submit an IRS Tax Return transcript to Rutgers. This method will likely cause major delays in disbursing your financial aid, and we strongly recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if possible.

An IRS Tax Return transcript is not a photocopy of your IRS income tax return. You will need to obtain the transcript from the IRS. You can do so by:

  • Visiting irs.gov, selecting "Tools" and "Get a Tax Transcript by Mail." Be sure to select the appropriate tax year.
  • Mail or fax the IRS Form 4506-T, and check box 6a to request a return transcript. Mail or fax to the address listed on page two of the IRS Form 4506-T.
    • To expedite this process, you can bring the completed IRS Form 4506-T to the nearest IRS office.
  • Contact the IRS directly at 1-800-908-9946 and order a tax return transcript by phone.