Completing the FAFSA Online

How to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The best way to verify income is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is part of FAFSA on the Web. If you have not already used the tool, go to, log in to your FAFSA record, select "Make FAFSA Corrections," and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form. From there, follow the instructions to determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Retrieval Tool to transfer IRS income tax information into your FAFSA. It takes up to two weeks for IRS income information to be available for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for electronic IRS tax return filers, and up to eight weeks for paper IRS tax return filers.


If you are selected for verification and have not used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will need to provide an IRS Tax Return Transcript to the Financial Aid Office.

To obtain an IRS tax return transcript

Go to and click on "Get transcript for my Tax Records". Click on "Get Transcript online". Create an account and answer all validation questions correctly. Check the Higher Education/Student Aid box and select the year and return you are requesting (Tax Return Transcript or W-2s). Hint: Make sure to turn off pop up blockers. Print your transcript or W-2's. Remember: After electronically filing your taxes it will take about 3 weeks for this to be available. If you owe taxes, your transcript will not be available until sometime after June 30, 2014. You can also call 1-800-908-9946 to request a transcript over the phone.

If you are married and you and your spouse filed separate tax returns, you must submit tax return transcripts for both you and your spouse.

Amended Tax Returns.

When an institution is aware that the tax filer filed, or will file, an amended tax return with the IRS, it must obtain signed copies of both the (1) original filed tax return or tax return transcript, and (2) a signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X . The information from both forms will be used to complete verification.