IRS Data Retrieval Tool Status | Federal Student Aid

IRS Data Retrieval Tool Status

Update as of May 3, 2017

On May 3, 2017, Federal Student Aid announced the following: 

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) will be available to use on the 2018–19 FAFSA® form on fafsa.gov when the form launches on Oct. 1, 2017.
  • The IRS DRT will not return for either the 2016–17 or 2017–18 FAFSA forms.
  • Information about the status of the IRS DRT for income-driven repayment (IDR) plan applicants (i.e., student loan borrowers who want to apply for an IDR plan) will be provided soon.

General Information About the IRS DRT Outage

The IRS DRT provides tax data that automatically fills in information for part of the FAFSA form, as well as the income-driven repayment (IDR) plan application for federal student loan borrowers.

The IRS turned off the DRT following concerns that data from the tool could be used by identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns. Once enhancements are made to encrypt or mask the sensitive data, the IRS DRT will be reactivated.

FAFSA® and Income-driven Repayment Plan Applications Still Available
Additional Information and Help for Applicants

FAFSA® and Income-driven Repayment Plan Applications Still Available

Although the IRS DRT is unavailable, you can still access fafsa.gov and the IDR plan application.

The income information needed to complete the FAFSA form or to apply for an IDR plan can be found on a previously filed tax return. (Remember: Both the 2016–17 and 2017–18 FAFSA forms require your 2015 tax data.) If you don’t have a copy of your tax return, you may be able to access the tax software used to prepare the return or contact your tax preparer to obtain a copy. You also may visit irs.gov/transcript to view and download a summary (called a “transcript”) of your tax return or to request that a tax transcript be sent to you by mail.

Got your tax return or transcript in hand, and not sure what goes where on the FAFSA® form? The information below will help you fill out the FAFSA® form without access to the IRS DRT.

Additional Information and Help for Applicants

Find more information or help:

Meanwhile, the IRS has published IRS Offers Help to Students, Families to Get Tax Information for Student Financial Aid Applications.

We will continue to update our websites and publications with further guidance and details in the coming weeks and months, but meanwhile, here’s some information for FAFSA® filers.

How to Fill Out the FAFSA® Form Without Access to the IRS DRT

If you are using your 2015 income tax return to manually enter information on your FAFSA form, the FAFSA instructions provide guidance on which line number to reference depending on the IRS tax form you filed. That information is also provided in the table below. For more specific guidance on each item, visit fafsa.gov/help.htm. If you’re using a tax transcript, there won’t be line numbers to reference, so read each question carefully.

2015 Income Tax Item

1040

1040A

1040EZ

Adjusted gross income (AGI)

Line 37

Line 21

Line 4

Income tax

Line 56 minus line 46

Line 28 minus line 36

Line 10

Exemptions

6d

6d

See details.

Wages earned from working

Line 7*

*Unless you are self-employed. See details.

Line 7

Line 1

Education credits

Line 50

Line 33

N/A

IRA deductions and payments to self-employed SEP, SIMPLE, Keogh, and other qualified plans

Line 28 + Line 32

Line 17

N/A

Tax-exempt interest income

Line 8b

Line 8b

N/A

Untaxed portions of IRA distributions

Line 15a minus line 15b

Exclude rollovers

Line 11a minus line 11b

Exclude rollovers

N/A

Untaxed portions of pensions

Line 16a minus line 16b

Exclude rollovers

Line 12a minus line 12b

Exclude rollovers

N/A

Untaxed portions of health savings accounts

Line 25

N/A

N/A

 

Form W-2 Item

Boxes

Payments to tax-deferred pension and retirement savings plans

Boxes 12a through 12d, codes D, E, F, G, H, and S

Don’t include amounts reported in code DD (employer contributions toward employee health benefits)