Instructions for FAFSA/IRS data retrieval tool


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When either a parent or student selects the IRS data retrieval option, the online FAFSA will conduct a data match with the IRS and redirect you to a secure IRS website. You will then permit the IRS to transfer your tax return data to the online FAFSA. A successful transfer will be noted on the FAFSA, as “Transferred from the IRS.”

You cannot use the FAFSA/IRS data retrieval tool if: 

  • Your marital status changes after December 31 of the same tax year 
  • Your tax return filing status is: 
    • Married, filing separately 
    • Head of household 
  • You filed an amended return 
  • You filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return 
  • You were not required to file a tax return

If you are not eligible to use the IRS tool, you may be required to submit a Federal Tax Transcript or signed copies of your tax return as part of FAFSA Verification. Information regarding whether or not you have to submit additional FAFSA Verification documents can be viewed at

Steps for using the IRS data retrieval tool:

  1. Log on to 
  2. Under the “Financial Information” section, you will be asked a series of questions to determine whether or not you (or your parents) are eligible to use the FAFSA/IRS data retrieval tool
  3. If eligible to use the FAFSA/IRS data retrieval tool, submit your PIN and “Link to IRS” 
  4. You will be directed to the IRS secure site to “Transfer Tax Information into the FAFSA”
    Note: When you login to retrieve your IRS data, your name and address information must exactly match the information on your tax return. 
  5. A successful match will show on your FAFSA as “Transferred from the IRS”
    Note: Once IRS data is transferred, do not change any tax related information on the FAFSA
  6. Repeat the IRS data retrieval process so that both parent and student IRS data is transferred
  7. Once you have transferred your IRS data; you are directed back to the FAFSA. Complete the remainder of your FAFSA if necessary, sign the FAFSA using both the student and parent PIN, and remember to click the submit button.