Data Retrieval and IRS Tax Transcripts

 

IRS Data Retrieval

When completing your FAFSA online, you will have the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Using this tool allows you to directly link your FAFSA with the IRS so that your tax information can be downloaded to your FAFSA. The option will be presented to the FAFSA filer during the “Financial Information” section. If the student is dependent, the FAFSA filer will be presented with the option twice: once for the parent, and once for the student.

There are several benefits to using this tool and our office recommends that students do so if at all possible. The benefits include:

  • Reduced time and effort filing the FAFSA
  • Increased information accuracy on your FAFSA
  • Increased security for parents and students filing the FAFSA
  • Reduced chances of being selected for Verification (see information on Verification below)
  • Fewer documents will need to be submitted to the Financial Aid Office in the event you are selected for Verification.

Remember that meeting Eastern’s financial aid priority date of March 1 is important. For Spring admitted students, the priority date is November 1. Therefore, either file your taxes early enough to meet this priority date for filing the FAFSA or plan to submit a Tax Return Transcript (see below) in support of your FAFSA application instead of using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Please be aware of the following items if you plan to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool:

  • The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will only be available to individuals who electronically file their taxes at least two weeks prior to filing the FAFSA. Those individuals who file their taxes by mail will have to wait at least four weeks before the Data Retrieval Tool will be available to them.
  • Individuals who have an outstanding tax liability will not be able to use the Data Retrieval Tool until the taxes are paid.
  • Using the Data Retrieval Tool requires that you enter your name and address. You must be sure to enter this information EXACTLY as it appears on your Federal Tax Return in order for the database to match your records.

Tax Transcripts

There are two types of Tax Transcripts that can be obtained from the IRS. However, our office can only use the free IRS Tax Return Transcript for Verification purposes. DO NOT request a Tax Account Transcript or a copy of the actual tax return.

There are some cases that deem someone ineligible to request a tax return transcript. Individuals who have an outstanding tax liability will not be eligible to receive and Tax Return Transcript until the taxes are paid.Those who filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return also are not eligible to obtain a Tax Return Transcript. In this scenario, the student must contact their financial aid administrator, who will then determine whether she can accept a copy of the 1040.

Tax Return Transcript may be requested:

You must enter your name and address when requesting a Tax Return Transcript. Be sure to enter this information EXACTLY as it appears on your Federal Tax Return in order for the database to match your records. The IRS requests that you allow 5-10 business days for them to process your request for a Tax Return Transcript.