New Changes to the FAFSA
FAFSA on the web added a new tool, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, to transfer your IRS income information into your FAFSA.
Why is it important to use the IRS Data Retrieval?
It simplifies the verification process, a process used to verify certain information on the FAFSA to ensure accuracy. Students are selected for verification by the US Department of Education or by the school. Please keep in mind there is no way to tell when filling out the FAFSA on the Web whether or not you may be selected.
How to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
Have yet completed your FAFSA:
You will go to FAFSA.ed.gov, and log in to complete your FAFSA. When you get to the income section, it will advise you that you may be able to determine if you are eligible to use the IRS DATA Retrieval Tool to transfer your IRS income tax information into your FAFSA.
Have already completed your FAFSA:
If you have already completed your FAFSA, you will to FAFSA.ed.gov, 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 Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your IRS income tax information into your FAFSA.
Note: If you file your return electronically, it will take two weeks after you have filed for the IRS information to be available for the IRS Data Retrieval tool. It will take eight weeks for those who filed a paper IRS tax return.
New Changes in the Submission of Your Federal Income Tax Return
Starting for the 2012-2013 academic year, you will no longer be able to submit a photocopy of your federal income tax return. You will, however, be required to request your IRS tax return transcript directly from the IRS.
To obtain an IRS tax return transcript, go to www.IRS.gov and click on the “Order a Return or Account Transcript” link, or call 1-800-908-9946. Make sure to request the “IRS tax return transcript” and not the “IRS tax account transcript.” You will need your Social Security Number, date of birth, and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used when your 2011 IRS tax return was filed). It takes up to two weeks for IRS income information to be available for electronic IRS tax return filers, and up to eight weeks for paper IRS tax return filers.
YOU CAN AVOID HAVING TO REQUEST AN IRS TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPT BY GOING TO FAFSA.GOV AND UTILIZING THE IRS DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL!
Sara Diane Nolan, MSW
Adjunct Faculty, The Donald Everett Axinn Division of Social Sciences