IRS Data Retrieval Tool Status

Here’s the latest information about the status of the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool.

Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) Is Available for the 2018‒19 FAFSA® Form
Questions and Answers About the Return of the IRS DRT to fafsa.gov
IRS DRT Is Available for the Income-Driven Repayment Plan Application on StudentLoans.gov
You Can Still Fill Out the 2017‒18 FAFSA® Form Without the IRS DRT
Additional Information and Help for Applicants

Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) Is Available for the 2018‒19 FAFSA® Form

The IRS DRT is available to use with the 2018–19 FAFSA form. Additional security and privacy protections have been added to address concerns that data from the tool could be used by identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns. The IRS DRT will not return for the 2017–18 FAFSA form. The IRS DRT remains the fastest, most accurate way to input your tax return information into the FAFSA form.

Questions and Answers About the Return of the IRS DRT to fafsa.gov

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)?
What happened to the IRS DRT?
Is the IRS DRT available with the 2018‒19 FAFSA® form?
How has the IRS DRT changed?
Why can’t I see my own tax return information?
How will I know that the correct information has been transferred?
Can I change the tax return information that I transfer into the FAFSA® form via the IRS DRT?
Can I see the tax return information transferred via the IRS DRT on my Student Aid Report (SAR)?
If I can’t see the tax information that’s transferred via the IRS DRT, will I be able to see my Expected Family Contribution on the fafsa.gov confirmation page or on my SAR?
If I enter my tax information manually, will I be able to see it?
Will my school see the data that’s transferred from the IRS?
If I’ve transferred my tax return information into the FAFSA® form via the IRS DRT, and then decide I want to enter the information manually instead, can I clear the information that was transferred via the DRT?
My Expected Family Contribution seems really high, and I think something must have gone wrong when my data was transferred from the IRS. How can I check to make sure the correct data was transferred?
If I go to the IRS DRT website and change my mind about transferring my tax return information, how do I return to fafsa.gov?

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)?

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

What happened to the IRS DRT?

The IRS disabled the IRS DRT in March following concerns that data from the tool could be used by identity thieves to file fraudulent tax returns.

Is the IRS DRT available with the 2018‒19 FAFSA® form?

Yes, additional privacy and security enhancements were added. You can use the IRS DRT to transfer your tax information into the 2018–19 FAFSA form if you’re eligible. The IRS DRT will not return for the 2017–18 FAFSA form.

How has the IRS DRT changed?

For your privacy, the tax information you transfer from the IRS into your FAFSA form won’t be visible to you. Instead, you will see “Transferred from the IRS” in the appropriate fields on fafsa.gov, the IRS DRT web page, and on the Student Aid Report.

Screen shot of FAFSA page indicating “You have successfully transferred your 2016 IRS tax information” and showing three FAFSA questions with “Transferred from the IRS” next to them.

Also, if you filed an amended tax return, you now may be eligible to use the IRS DRT.

Why can’t I see my own tax return information?

Your tax return information is no longer visible because of added security and privacy protections. Not displaying your information prevents potential identity thieves from accessing it.

How will I know that the correct information has been transferred?

The tax return information that is being transferred into the FAFSA form is coming directly from the 2016 tax return you filed with the IRS. Your school’s financial aid office will have access to the transferred information and will follow up with you directly if they notice any issues or need additional information.

Can I change the tax return information that I transfer into the FAFSA® form via the IRS DRT?

No. Information you transfer via the IRS DRT cannot be changed. Remember, the information transferred is coming from your filed 2016 tax return, so it should not need to be changed. If your financial situation has changed or you filed a 1040X amended return, contact your school’s financial aid office to discuss whether it would be appropriate for the school to adjust the information on your FAFSA form.

Can I see the tax return information transferred via the IRS DRT on my Student Aid Report (SAR)?

No. Tax return information transferred via the IRS DRT will not be visible on the IRS DRT website, on fafsa.gov, or on your SAR.

If I can’t see the tax information that’s transferred via the IRS DRT, will I be able to see my Expected Family Contribution on the fafsa.gov confirmation page or on my SAR?

Yes.

If I enter my tax information manually, will I be able to see it?

Yes. Tax return information that’s entered manually will be visible on fafsa.gov and on your SAR.

Will my school see the data that’s transferred from the IRS?

Yes, your school will have access to the tax return information that is transferred via the IRS DRT and will follow up with you if they notice issues or need more information.

If I’ve transferred my tax return information into the FAFSA® form via the IRS DRT, and then decide I want to enter the information manually instead, can I clear the information that was transferred via the DRT?

We strongly discourage clearing the information. The IRS DRT remains the fastest, most accurate way to input your tax return information into the FAFSA form. Additionally, using the IRS DRT to enter your tax information into the FAFSA form may reduce the amount of paperwork you need to provide to your school later.

If, despite this, you still want to clear the information transferred via the IRS DRT and enter your tax information manually—and you haven’t submitted the application or correction yet—you can click “CLEAR ALL DATA” at the bottom of fafsa.gov. Just know that by doing so, the entire application or correction will be cleared, and you will have to start the entire application or correction over again.

My Expected Family Contribution seems really high, and I think something must have gone wrong when my data was transferred from the IRS. How can I check to make sure the correct data was transferred?

You can contact your school’s financial aid office to find out your school’s process for providing the specific information that was transferred into the FAFSA form via the IRS DRT.

If I go to the IRS DRT website and change my mind about transferring my tax return information, how do I return to fafsa.gov?

If you get to the IRS DRT web page and decide you don’t want to transfer your information into the FAFSA form, just click the “Do Not Transfer” button and return to the FAFSA form.

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IRS DRT Is Available for the Income-Driven Repayment Plan Application on StudentLoans.gov

Borrowers applying for an income-driven repayment plan on StudentLoans.gov can use the IRS DRT to transfer tax return information directly into the online income-driven repayment plan application.

To address privacy and security concerns, the tax return information will be encrypted and hidden from the borrower’s view on the IRS DRT web page, as well as on the online income-driven repayment plan application.

If you’re a student loan borrower, you can get more information about using the IRS DRT for the income-driven repayment plan application from your federal loan servicer.

If you’re unable to use the IRS DRT, you can follow these instructions for accessing a copy of your tax return or obtaining a tax transcript from the IRS:

  • 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.

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You Can Still Fill Out the 2017‒18 FAFSA® Form Without the IRS DRT

Although the IRS DRT is unavailable to use when completing the 2017‒18 FAFSA form, you can still apply at fafsa.gov and manually enter your tax return information.

Remember: The 2017–18 FAFSA form requires your 2015 tax data. 

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.

How to Fill Out the 2017‒18 FAFSA® Form Without Access to the IRS DRT

If you are using your 2015 income tax return to manually enter information on your 2017–18 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

(and 2017–18 Paper FAFSA® Question Numbers)

1040

1040A

1040EZ

IRS Tax Return Transcript

Adjusted gross income (AGI)

(36 and 85)

Line 37

Line 21

Line 4

Adjusted Gross Income Per Computer

Income tax paid

(37 and 86)

Line 56 minus line 46

Line 28 minus line 36

Line 10

IRS Form 1040 Transcripts:
“Income Tax After Credits Per Computer” minus “Excess Advance Premium Tax Credit Repayment Amount”

For IRS Form 1040A Transcripts:
“Tentative Tax Per Computer” minus “Total Credits Per Computer”

For IRS Form 1040EZ Transcripts:
"Total Tax Liability TP Figures Per Computer” minus “Health Care: Individual Responsibility”

For all transcripts, if taxes paid is negative, enter "0" (zero)

Exemptions

(38 and 87)

6d

6d

See details.

Exemption number

Wages earned from working

(39 and 88/89)

Line 7*

*Unless you are self-employed. See details.

Line 7

Line 1

Wages, Salaries, Tips, Etc.

Education credits

(44a and 93a)

Line 50

Line 33

N/A

Education Credit Per Computer

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

(45b and 94b)

Line 28 plus Line 32

Line 17

N/A

3 KEOGH/SEP Contribution “Deduction” plus “IRA Deduction Per Computer”

Tax-exempt interest income

(45d and 94d)

Line 8b

Line 8b

N/A

Tax-Exempt Interest

Untaxed portions of IRA distributions

(45e and 94e)

Line 15a minus line 15b

Exclude rollovers

Line 11a minus line 11b

Exclude rollovers

N/A

“Total IRA Distributions” minus “Taxable IRA Distributions”

Untaxed portions of pensions

(45f and 94f)

Line 16a minus line 16b

Exclude rollovers

Line 12a minus line 12b

Exclude rollovers

N/A

“Total Pensions and Annuities” minus “Taxable Pension/Annuity Amount”

Untaxed portions of health savings accounts

(45i and 94i)

Line 25

N/A

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)

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Additional Information and Help for Applicants

Find more information or help:

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

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