The U.S. Department of Education recently created an enhancement to the FAFSA filing process by allowing applicants and parents to retrieve tax data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Entering freshmen and transfer students will need to submit signed paper copies of their 2012 tax forms. In addition, we will require the use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for those students who accept our offer of admission and pay the admission deposit. Returning students will need only to use the Data Retrieval Tool or submit a tax return transcript. See the FAQ for further explanation. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is the easiest way to provide accurate income tax information on the FAFSA. The IRS DRT is now available on the FAFSA website.
You may want to watch a helpful video from UCSB. Please note that it will take 3 weeks after you file taxes electronically before your will be able to use the DRT.
We understand that many people are having trouble accessing the IRS DRT and/or ordering tax return transcripts because the IRS has not yet processed their returns. As long as all other document requests (e.g. W-2s) are satisfied in a timely manner, we will still offer students full aid consideration even if we have not received the DRT information or a tax return transcript.
IMPORTANT CHANGES TO THE FAFSA PROCESS:
- ALL applicants and parents who indicate they have filed a federal tax return will be directed to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
- Applicants and parents who indicate they will file a federal tax return will receive email communication(s) from the federal processor directing them to use the IRS Tool to update their income information once they have filed their 2012 federal income tax return.
- Applicants selected for the verification process will be required to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool OR they may choose to request a tax return transcript from the IRS, which can be submitted to the Financial Aid Office.
HOW SOON AFTER FILING A 2012 FEDERAL TAX RETURN CAN I USE THE IRS TOOL?
||IRS Data will be available to fill in the FAFSA within 3 weeks of filing.|
||IRS Data will be available to fill in the FAFSA within 6 – 8 weeks of filing|
If you plan to submit your FAFSA before you and/or your parents complete and submit your 2012 Federal Tax Return, be sure to return to the FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your FAFSA record once the returns have been submitted and the income data is available to be retrieved.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO USE THE IRS DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL
You will be given the option to view/transfer your IRS information if you have:
- Filed your 2012 Federal Tax Return(s)
- A valid social security number (all 0s does not count as valid)
- A Federal Student Aid PIN (if you do not have a PIN, you will be given the option to apply for one)
- Not changed your martial status since December 31, 2012
WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO USE THE IRS DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL
The following circumstances make you ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool:
- Filed an amended 2012 Federal Tax Return
- Will not file a 2012 Federal Tax Return
- Are married but filed separately
- Filed a foreign tax return (including Puerto Rico)
- Information was changed before submission of the FAFSA or a correction was made to the FAFSA
- Are a victim of identity theft
- Owe taxes to the IRS
You must instead submit to the Financial Aid Office a certified IRS tax return transcript using IRS Form 4506-T. You may also request a tax return transcript online. Parents who are married but filing separately must submit two separate IRS transcripts. Transcripts are not required for those filing a foreign or Puerto Rican tax return. When requesting a tax transcript, list yourself as the taxpayer and have it sent to your home address. Once you receive it, please write your student's name and student ID # on it and send it to us via fax or US Mail.
Entering students are required both to use the Data Retrieval Tool (or send a tax return transcript) AND to submit a signed paper copy of their 2012 tax return. Returning students are required to use the Data Retrieval Tool or submit a tax return transcript only.
USING THE DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL
You will need to log back onto the FAFSA using your Department of Education PIN and submit a correction. Students will use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for the Student Information Section, and parents of dependent students will use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for the Parent Financial Information Section.
Click here for answers to frequently asked questions about the DRT.