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The IRS Data Retrieval Tool

UPDATE: Effective 3/31/2017, the US Department of Education has announced that the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) will continue to be out of service for the next several months.  At this time, the IRS anticipates the tool will remain unavailable until at least October 1, 2017. In place of using the DRT, please submit a copy of the requested 2015 Federal Tax Return Transcript(s) to our office. The Federal Tax Return Transcript can be obtained by calling the IRS at (800) 908-9946, or by visiting For your security, please do not submit personally identifiable information via e-mail. To learn more about this outage and the other options available to aid applicants, you can read the Department of Education’s official statement about this issue here.

The DRT outage does not limit your ability to apply for financial aid, and we strongly encourage you to complete the application process as soon as possible.

Students and parents who indicate on the FAFSA that they have already filed a federal tax return may be eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to complete or update their FAFSA.

What is it?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows FAFSA on the web applicants to request and retrieve their tax information directly from the IRS. Use of this tool will increase the accuracy of your FAFSA information and streamline the application, review and award process.

Why should I use it?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is quicker than ordering a Federal Tax Transcript and waiting for it in the mail. If you use the tool, our office will receive your information quicker. This will allow us to process your financial aid package sooner!

Who can use it?

Students and parents who have a valid Social Security number and have filed their federal tax return are encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Students and parents who are not required to file a tax return, filed an amended tax return, used a filing status of “married filing separately,” or filed a foreign tax return are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

When can I use it?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available approximately three weeks from the date you or your parent file the federal tax return electronically. If you or your parent chose to file a paper tax return you will be able to use the tool after approximately 8-11 weeks.

If you originally provided estimates for your tax information on the FAFSA, you can make a correction and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update the information.

How do I use it?

It’s easy! Here’s a brief video showing how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.