Financial Aid

FAFSA - IRS Data Retrieval Tool

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Image of instructions on how to manually add 2015 tax information into your FAFSA.Notice

On March 10, 2017, the Department of Education announced that the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in the FAFSA was being made unavailable. At this time, the IRS anticipates the online tool will not be available until Fall 2017.  When submitting tax information for the 2017-2018 FAFSA, and anyone still needing to submit a 2016-2017 FAFSA, you must use your 2015 tax return information, for both years.  We highly recommend that you then immediately request an IRS 2015 Tax Return Transcript at www.irs.gov in case we later need your documentation.  Contact the Financial Aid Office if you need more information.

 


Information regarding the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, when it becomes available again:

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available for online FAFSA submittals and is accessible through the FAFSA web site www.fafsa.gov.  The Data Retrieval Tool allows FAFSA applicants and parents the ability to transfer their income information from the IRS to the FAFSA.  See below.

 All FAFSA applicants, and parents of dependent applicants, who indicate they have filed or will file a federal tax return will be directed to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to report and/or update their income information on the FAFSA.

IRS retrieval tool image

 

BENEFITS OF USING THE DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL:

  • Applicants can complete their FAFSA more easily and accurately.
  • Applicants selected for verification can satisfy the income verification portion by using the Data Retrieval Tool.
  • This will increase the accuracy and speed in awarding student financial aid funds.

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 Data Retrieval Tool. 
  • Applicants selected for the verification process will be instructed to use the Data Retrieval Tool, or else request a tax return transcript from the IRS to submit to the Financial Aid Office. 

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • October 1 - students may begin to submit their FAFSA applications for the academic year starting the following fall, using two year's prior tax return data
  • May 1 - SCC's priority deadline for the FAFSA 

WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO USE THE DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL:

  • Married couples who file separate tax returns.
  • Separated or divorced applicants or parents, who filed jointly in the base tax year. 
  • Applicants whose marital status has changed from the base tax year, to the date the FAFSA is filed. 
  • Applicants who are neither eligible nor required to file a Federal Tax Return. 

IF YOUR FILE IS SELECTED FOR VERIFICATION:

If your FAFSA record is selected for a process called verification, and you and your parents filed a federal tax return but did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will be required to:

  • Use the Data Retrieval Tool to update your and/or your parent or spouse FAFSA income information; (OR)
  • You and/or your parents or spouse may request a "Tax Return Transcript" from the IRS to submit to the Financial Aid Office to verify your income information.

SPECIAL ITEM OF NOTE - Applicants who change the IRS Data Retrieval Tool information after importing into the FAFSA

  • Applicants selected for verification who use the tool, but subsequently change the income information, will be informed they must explain to their institutions why information they provided is more accurate than the information available through the IRS. 
  • Contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your circumstances.  The Financial Aid administrator may ask you to submit additional documentation.