IRS Data Retrieval Process
What is it?
The IRS Data Retrieval Process is a tool that helps streamline the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by allowing online FAFSA filers to pull specific tax return data directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The retrieval tool will save you time and increase the accuracy of your FAFSA information.
Why do I need to complete it?
The federal government selects a group of students each year whose information we are required to verify. This process is called “federal verification” and it means that our office must confirm elements of your financial aid application. Part of this process is to verify that the reported income information for both you and your parents matches with the tax return that was submitted to the IRS for 2011. The quickest and easiest way to verify your reported income information is to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process in the income section of the FAFSA.
How do I complete it?
Log back into your FAFSA and look for the “Link to IRS” button in the income section of the form. If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process, your FAFSA will be automatically updated using the values from the official IRS records for 2011. Do not make any changes to the 2011 income information on your FAFSA after you have used the IRS Data Retrieval tool. That would invalidate the process and require you to submit a copy of your IRS transcript, which will delay the processing of your financial aid application.
I’m logged back into my FAFSA. What do I do now?
To complete the IRS Data Retrieval Process, complete the following steps for both the student as well as the parent, if they filed taxes for 2011:
- Click “Make FAFSA Corrections.”
- Click the “Financial Information” option on the top menu.
- You should see information about how to begin using the IRS Data Retrieval Process. You may need to change your tax filing status.
- In the IRS Data Retrieval box, choose the option that best applies to you, and click “View option to link to the IRS.”
- Click the “Link to IRS” button, and click “OK” on the next page.
- Check the “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA” box, and click the “Transfer Now” button.
- You will then see a screen confirming that the information has been transferred.
- Agree to the terms and sign this section to move on.
- This process needs to be completed for both the student and the parent. Parents will need to sign separately using their own FAFSA PIN.
- After you do this for both student and parent, submit the corrected FAFSA.
- You are all set!
We’ve also created a visual aid to walk you through this process.
I completed the IRS Data Retrieval Process on my FAFSA. Do I still need to provide a copy of my tax return as well as my parent’s return for the Financial Aid Office?
Yes. While the IRS Data Retrieval Process helps to verify a portion of the income information reported on the FAFSA, the University of Rochester does still require actual copies of federal tax returns. This is because the IRS Data Retrieval Process does not include all of the information that we need for our application review. Therefore, we do need to see a copy of the 1040 federal returns that were submitted to the IRS.
What if I’m not eligible to complete the IRS Data Retrieval Process?
If you are not able to complete the IRS Data Retrieval Process, you will need to request a copy of your official tax transcript from the IRS and submit that copy to our Financial Aid Office. There are three ways to request your transcript:
- via online request at the IRS website,
- via telephone request at (800) 908-9946, or
- via paper request (go to the IRS website, print out IRS Form 4506T-EZ, and mail it to the IRS).
Our office strongly recommends that you either call or submit your request online. The paper option is by far the slowest choice and does not provide an automatic confirmation that your request was processed. You can find detailed instructions by logging into your FAOnline account and reviewing the "Requesting an IRS Transcript" document under the Standard Forms tab.
What happens if I don’t complete it?
Failing to complete this requirement will delay the processing of your financial aid, which might ultimately affect your billing account with the University of Rochester.
How do I confirm that I’ve done everything I need to do?
You can track the completion of your requirements through your FAOnline account. Log in and review the Required Documents tab. Any items listed as “Not Received” are still required in order for our office to process your financial aid application.