Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

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Did you know you can expedite the processing of your FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)? The IRS DRT electronically transfers your federal tax return information into your FAFSA.

Please be advised: the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is unavailable for use on the 2017-2018 FAFSA, but will be available for the 2018-2019 FAFSA. Read more.

Applying for Aid with the IRS DRT

Students and parents who filed their IRS tax return are able to use the IRS DRT option on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). By using the IRS DRT, we are less likely to request additional income information from you, which streamlines the processing of your application and avoids unnecessary delays.


Follow these steps to transfer your tax information into your FAFSA:

  1. Log in to your current FAFSA, or start a new FAFSA at
  2. In the finances section of the FAFSA, you will see a “Link to IRSbutton if you are eligible to use the IRS DRT.
  3. Click the “Link to IRS” button and log in to the IRS site to retrieve your tax return information.
  4. Review your tax return information, and see the tax data that will be transferred into your FAFSA.
  5. Check the “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA” box, and click the “Transfer Now” button.
  6. Review your federal tax return information that has been transferred into the data fields on your FAFSA.


Please allow approximately two weeks from the date you filed your tax return electronically to use the IRS DRT. If you chose to file a paper return, please allow 6-8 weeks for processing by the IRS. If you used the IRS DRT 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 DRT automatically transfers your income information from the IRS directly onto your FAFSA.

Alternative Methods to Verify 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, 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.