IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is designed to help make the FAFSA faster and easier for you and your family to complete. Below are some Frequently asked questions about the tool and how to use it. 

Eligible applicants can complete their FAFSA more easily and accurately! The Data Retrieval Tool can make filing the FAFSA easier by reducing the risk for errors when entering your most sensitive tax information. Applicants selected for verification can also use the tool to update their income information and avoid unnecessary processing delays or the need to submit paper copies of their tax documents to BGSU.

The U.S. Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have collaborated to develop a tool that simplifies the completion of the FAFSA application. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) allows FAFSA applicants and parents to request and retrieve their tax data directly from the IRS. Once this data is retrieved from the IRS, it can be transferred to the FAFSA application.

All applicants filing the FAFSA are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if they meet all of the following requirements:

• Must have a valid Social Security number

• Must have filed a 2017 federal tax return

• Must have unchanged marital status since December 31, 2017

The following list represents who CANNOT use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool:

• Parents with all zeroes for a Social Security number

• Any student or parent with a marital status date of January 1, 2018 or later

• Any student or parent who indicates they have not already filed a tax return and will not file a tax return

• A married independent student and spouse who filed separate tax returns

• Parents of a dependent student who filed separate tax returns

When you reach the point in the FAFSA when the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) becomes available, you will select that you wish to use the DRT. You will then automatically be redirected from the FAFSA to the IRS website. Some information will be filled in, however you will be required to enter in your parent(s) information. 

Once submitted, all tax information will be transferred to the FAFSA and you will be redirected to complete the application. You will be required to still input some tax information once you return to the FAFSA.