IRS Data Retrieval/IRS Tax Transcript

Importance of IRS Data Retrieval Tool

If applicants do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA on the web application (since it is technically optional), the following things may occur:

  • It will be much more likely for the applicant's FAFSA application to be selected for Federal Verification if the applicant does NOT use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA application and/or if the applicant changes their IRS retrieved data within the FAFSA once the Tool has been used to transfer their official IRS data.
  • As a result of being selected for Federal Verification, the applicant will have to submit additional documentation to the Student Financial Services Office before Federal aid can be authorized. This will include submitting a Federal Verification Web Form and will possibly involve the applicant to request an IRS tax return transcript from the IRS.
  • This additional documentation may take 6-8 weeks to complete due to IRS processing time and could result in a significant delay for applicants!

IRS Data Retrieval Within FAFSA

Within the FAFSA application, the applicant is required to report income information for 2013.

  • If the student and/or spouse are non-tax filers, then there is no IRS data to retrieve; and therefore the IRS Date Retrieval Tool is irrelevant.
  • If the student and/or spouse are tax filers, then the FAFSA applicant will be presented with questions about their respective tax returns. The applicant will then, if eligible, be given the option to open up the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, enter certain identifying information, and finally transfer their IRS data directly into the FAFSA on the web application.
    • Do NOT make changes to that IRS information once it is retrieved. If you do, the data retrieval will be invalid.
  • Unfortunately, some applicants who are tax filers are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Ineligible applicants include:
    1. those whose filing status is married filing separately or head of household
    2. those who got married any time after January 1, 2013
    3. those who file Puerto Rican tax returns or foreign tax returns
    4. those who either have not yet filed their Federal return or who have only recently filed their Federal return.

In the case of number 4 above, please note the following:

  • Even if you have not completed your 2013 Federal taxes you should complete your FAFSA using tax estimates so we can begin to review your application for aid.
  • You are still REQUIRED (for the same reasons listed above) to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool once you have filed your 2013 taxes
    • When will your data be available from the IRS?
      • Electronic Tax Filers - Data will be available within 2 weeks of filing
      • Paper Tax Filers - Data will be available within 6 – 8 weeks of filing
  • Once available, you will need to return to FAFSA on the web and make a correction to your prior submission where you will opt to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and resubmit the FAFSA. If you do not make the correction, and if you are selected for verification, then you must submit an IRS tax return transcript (see below) directly to the HLS Student Financial Services Office.

In the case of numbers 1- 2, you will automatically be required to submit an IRS tax return transcript to the HLS Student Financial Services Office if you are selected for verification----and only if you are selected for verification! In the case of number 3, you will be allowed to submit a paper tax return to the HLS Student Financial Services Office if you are selected for verification.

IRS Tax Return Transcript (used in place of IRS data retrieval)

If it is determined for one reason or another that you need to submit a tax return transcript to the HLS Student Financial Services Office, the information below instructs you on how to obtain the IRS tax return transcript.

  • Online Request at www.irs.gov
    • Go to the Online Services section of the IRS homepage and click on "Order a Return or Account Transcript".
    • Click on "Order a Transcript".
    • Enter your information and when prompted for Type of Transcript be sure to select "Return Transcript" and in the Tax Year Field, select "2013".
    • IRS estimates that the processing time required to receive your requested transcript will be about 2 weeks.
    • Tax Return Transcripts requested online CANNOT be sent to a third party. Once you receive it you will need to submit it to the HLS Student Financial Services Office for review.
  • Telephone Request: 1-800-908-9946
    • After verifying your personal information, select "Option 2" to request a Tax Return Transcript and then enter "2013"
    • IRS estimates that the processing time required to receive your requested transcript will be about 2 weeks.
    • Tax Return Transcripts requested via phone CANNOT be sent to a third party. Once you receive it you will need to submit it to the HLS Student Financial Services Office for review.
  • Paper Request Form
    • IRS Form 4506T-EZ
    • Complete lines 1-4 being sure to follow the directions carefully
    • Line 5 gives you the option to send the transcript to a third party like HLS Student Financial Services
    • On line 6 enter "2013"
    • Sign and date the form and mail it to the IRS for processing.
    • IRS estimates that the processing time required to receive your requested transcript will be about 2 weeks from the date they receive your request; however, it is likely this method will take longer than making the request via phone or online.
Last modified: February 05, 2014

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