Automated IRS System Helps College Students Apply for Financial Aid

The IRS is working to help take the grief out of the college financial aid process.  By using the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT), all necessary tax data can be automatically transferred from a federal tax return to your FAFSA form.  This tool is free, secure, and can take a lot of the time and uncertainty out of your application.

To make use of the IRS DRT in completing a 2012-2013 FAFSA form, an applicant must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The applicant must have filed a 2011 federal tax return.  If the applicant filed an amended tax return, a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return, or if the status of the tax return was “married filing separately,” the IRS DRT cannot be used for a 2012 FAFSA application.
  • The applicant must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN).
  • The applicant must have a Federal Student Aid PIN.  If you do not have a PIN, you will be able to apply for one through the FAFSA process.
  • The applicant cannot have changed marital status since December 31st, 2011.

If you do not qualify for the IRS DRT, you may need to acquire an official return transcript from the IRS.  Such transcripts are available after your appropriate tax return has been processed and can be requested through the official IRS site here.  You can also call for a transcript toll-free at 1-800-908-9946.