To protect sensitive taxpayer data, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on fafsa.gov and StudentLoans.gov will be unavailable until extra security protections can be added. The tool is expected to be back online in fall 2017, when the next Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) season begins. The IRS DRT provides tax data that automatically fills in information for part of the FAFSA as well as the income-driven repayment (IDR) plan application for federal student loan borrowers.
While the Data Retrieval Tool is unavailable, FSA and the IRS remind applicants that online applications are still available and are operable.
The income information needed to complete the FAFSA and apply for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan can be found on a previously filed tax return.
Because you will have to manually enter tax information, you should set aside extra time to complete this year's FAFSA.
Accessing Your Tax Return
If a copy of the tax return is not readily available, the applicant may be able to access the tax software used to prepare the return or contact their tax preparer to obtain a copy.
If necessary, a summary of a previously filed tax return, called a tax transcript, may be viewed and downloaded from www.irs.gov/transcript at Get Transcript Online, with the proper identity verification. Additionally, Get Transcript by Mail can be accessed online, or the taxpayer can call 1-800-908-9946, and a transcript will be delivered to the address of record within five to 10 days.
Filling Out the FAFSA and Applying For an IDR
Students and parents completing a 2016–17 and 2017–18 FAFSA should manually enter 2015 tax information (not 2016). If you are using your 2015 income tax return, 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 here. If you’re using a tax transcript, there won’t be line numbers to reference, so read each question carefully.
Borrowers applying for an IDR plan should submit alternative documentation of income to their federal loan servicers after they complete and submit the online IDR application. The process for submitting the alternative documentation of income is explained to borrowers as part of the online IDR application. While the Data Retrieval Tool is unavailable, a borrower may submit a paper copy of his or her tax return, copies of pay stubs or other acceptable forms of documentation explained online during the application process
For More Information
For help completing the FAFSA, visit StudentAid.gov/fafsa or call 1-800-4FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). For help applying for an IDR, visit StudentAid.gov/idr.