FAFSA Verification

Guidance for Submitting 2015 Federal Tax Information


Option 1:  Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)

To use IRS DRT, you must have filed your taxes electronically at least 2-3 weeks ago or have filed your paper tax return at least 6-8 weeks ago.

Follow the steps below to update the tax information on the FAFSA using IRS DRT:

  1. Go to the website: www.FAFSA.gov and click “Login.”
  2. Enter your student information and click “Next.”
  3. Click “Make FAFSA Corrections.”
  4. Enter your Federal Student Aid ID and password (FSA ID). Create and re-enter a password and click “Next.”
  5. Click on the “Financial Information” tab. Select “Already Completed” for the tax filing status and answer eligibility questions.
    Be aware of the financial information you are viewing—student or parent. To access the student’s data, scroll to the bottom
    of the parent data and click “Next.”
  6. If eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, enter the appropriate FSA ID and click “Link to IRS.”
  7. Click “OK” to leave the FAFSA website and enter the IRS Data Retrieval Tool website.
  8. Click “OK” to accept the IRS Data Retrieval Tool terms of use.
  9. Enter the requested information. Enter the address exactly as it appears on your Federal Tax Return and click “Submit.”
  10. Check the box “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA” then click “Transfer Now.” Transfer will occur and you will be returned to the FAFSA website.
  11. Do not change any answers that say “Transferred from the IRS”; answer question(s) asking how much was earned and click “Next.”
    Attention—If you are retrieving both parent and student IRS data, Steps 5 through 11 must be undertaken for each filer prior to continuing to Step 12.
  12. Click the “Sign & Submit” tab near the top of the page. Enter the required PIN(s) and click “Sign.” Then agree to the Terms of Agreement and click “Submit My FAFSA Now.

If you receive an “information does not match” message, this may be because:

  • Tax return was recently filed and the information is not available from the IRS; see above processing time.
  • Address associated with FSA ID does not match address on tax return or SSN does not match.

IRS DRT cannot be used by a student or parent if:

  • A 2015 amended tax return (1040X) was filed, you have not yet filed your tax return, or a foreign tax return was filed.
  • The student or parent is married and the tax filing status is Married Filing Separately or Head of Household

Option 2: Obtain a Free Tax Return Transcript—If unable to use IRS DRT, select one of the following methods:

  • Request online at the IRS website at www.irs.gov
    • Under the Tools heading on the IRS homepage, click “Get Transcript of Your Tax Records.”
      • Get Transcript by MAIL Joint filers should provide information for the first person listed on the tax return; enter SSN, date of birth, and address; click “continue”; for Type of Transcript select “Return Transcript”—NOT Account Transcript; for Tax Year “2015”; or
  • Request by calling the IRS at 1-800-908-9946
    • You will be given an online option but continue to hold. You will be prompted to enter tax filer’s SSN, address; select
      “Option 2” to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript—NOT Account Transcript; and then enter “2015.”

Additional information:

  • To verify that an IRA or pension distribution was rolled over, please submit 2015 1099-R form(s).
  • Married tax filers who file separate returns must submit a Tax Return Transcript for each filer.
  • If your initial tax return was corrected or amended, please notify our office. Alternative documentation will be required.
  • Submit 2015 W-2 form(s) since neither the IRS DRT process nor the tax return transcript provide individual earnings. If there is
    a business or farm, submit Schedules C, F, and/or K-1 (Form 1065). 
IRS Data Retrieval Tool Help

When using either the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on your FAFSA, or any of the available tax return transcript ordering processes, you are instructed that the address you enter must match the address inputted on your Federal Income Tax return.  many times users enter the correct address, only to be presented with this message:

The address you entered does not match our records.  What went wrong? Your address may have changed. Your current address may not be the same as the address we have on record for you. Use the address that matches your 2015 Federal Income Tax Return. Don't forget to include your apartment number if applicable.

This message on IRS.gov explains that the address entered does not match the address that the IRS has on record for you. What do you do if you know you entered your address from your Federal Income Tax Return correctly? Well, sometimes the IRS takes your address from your Federal Income Tax Return and standardizes it to conform to the United States Postal Service (USPS) specifications. To successfully use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will have to look up your standardized address on the USPS website.

Copy and paste this link into a new browser window: https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupAction!input.action

Enter your address as seen on your Federal Tax Return and click Find. Your full address using standard abbreviations and formatting will now be displayed.

Return to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on your FAFSA and try your request again using your standardized address.

See  the "Guidance for Submitting Tax Information 2015" at http://www.mtu.edu/finaid/aid/forms/ for a printable PDF of this information.