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Obtaining a Tax Return Transcript & Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Students completing the 2017-2018 FAFSA will need to provide 2015 tax information. Students completing the 2018-2019 FAFSA will need to provide 2016 federal income tax information. Please review the chart below if you are not sure which FAFSA you need to complete.

 Enrollment PeriodRequired FAFSARequired Tax Information
May 15, 2017 - May 12, 2018 2017-2018 FAFSA 2015 Federal Income Tax Information
May 14, 2018 - May 11, 2019 2018-2019 FAFSA 2016 Federal Income Tax Information

It is highly recommended that the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) link on the 2018-2019 FAFSA be used, if possible, to provide the required tax information.

(PLEASE NOTE: The DRT is not available on the 2017-2018 FAFSA. More information regarding the Tax Return Transcript process for the 2017-2018 aid year is listed below.)

The DRT process electronically imports needed tax information directly from the IRS to the FAFSA.  It is the fastest and most accurate way to input tax information into the FAFSA form.

If the DRT option is used successfully, submission of a tax transcript will not be needed if your FAFSA is chose for verification.

2018-2019 IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) steps

  • Log into fafsa.gov. Click “Start a New FAFSA" (or click “Make Corrections” if you have already submitted a FAFSA and need to correct the previously reported data).

  • Under the “Financial Information” tab, choose the IRS Data Retrieval Tool option or "Link to IRS."  This will take you to an information page with the IRS.

  • Authorize the transfer of information from the IRS and click “Transfer Now” to transfer the tax information. You will then be directed back to the FAFSA page.

  • Additional security protections have been added for the 2018-2019 FAFSA to better protect your privacy.

    • The tax return information will not be displayed to you on the IRS web application, your FAFSA form, or your Student Aid Report (SAR).
    • Instead, you will see "Transferred from the IRS" in the appropriate fields.
    • The detail of the data will be available to the financial aid office via the downloaded file for eligibility determination and processing purposes.
  • Joint return filers will need to manually enter the appropriate income earned from work for each filer on the FAFSA. Filers with rollovers will be required to answer screening questions to determine how the rollover amount should be populated.

  • Once all required FAFSA information is completed, proceed to the "Sign and Submit" section of the FAFSA to submit the information to the federal processor.

DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL NOT USED

2018-2019:

If your 2018-2019 FAFSA is chosen for verification and a 2016 tax return transcript is required, you and/or your parent(s) may make corrections on the FAFSA and use the DRT to transfer the information to our office electronically.

If you and/or your parent(s) are not eligible (or choose not) to use the DRT, you will be required to secure a copy of the 2016 Tax Return Transcript(s) directly from the IRS for submission to the UTA Office of Financial Aid. Please include your UTA ID number on the transcript for identification purposes.

To request a free copy of the IRS Tax Return Transcript:

2017-2018:

If your 2017-2018 FAFSA is chosen for verification and a 2015 Tax Return Transcript is required for you and/or your parent(s), you will need to secure a copy directly from the IRS for submission to the UTA Office of Financial Aid (the IRS DRT is not available on the 2017-2018 FAFSA). Please include your UTA ID number on the transcript for identification purposes.

To request your free copy of the IRS Tax Return Transcript:

If you and/or your parent(s) are unable to secure a copy of the 2015 Tax Return Transcript for the 2017-2018 FAFSA, a signed paper copy of the filed tax return may be substituted.

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announced that effective on April 24, 2017, financial aid offices may consider a signed paper copy of the 2015 IRS tax return that was used by the tax filer for submission to the IRS as acceptable documentation to verify 2017-2018 FAFSA tax return information (this option is not available for verifying the 2018-2019 FAFSA).