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

Students completing the 2018-2019 FAFSA will need to provide 2016 tax information. Students completing the 2019-2020 FAFSA will need to provide 2017 federal income tax information. Please review the chart below if you are not sure which FAFSA you need to complete.

As of January 9, 2019 the Federal Department of Education has allowed universities to now accept a signed tax return (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) in lieu of a tax return transcript for students selected for verification. Therefore, if our office requests your tax information for the 2018-2019 or 2019-2020 FAFSA application year, you can now submit either a tax return transcript or a signed tax return.

If submitting a tax return to our office, it must be signed by either the filer of the tax return or the tax preparer. The tax preparer’s signature must include their ID number and/or stamp.

 Enrollment PeriodRequired FAFSARequired Tax Information
May 15, 2018 - May 11, 2019 2018-2019 FAFSA 2016 Federal Income Tax Information
May 13, 2019 - May 9, 2020 2019-2020 FAFSA 2017 Federal Income Tax Information

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

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 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.



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: