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San Diego State University

Financial Aid and Scholarships

IRS Data Retrieval

When completing or correcting your FAFSA online, select the IRS Data Retrieval process.

Completed tax returns make FAFSA application easier

Completing the FAFSA will be faster, easier, and more accurate if you and your parents have already completed your IRS federal income tax returns.

  • Complete your IRS tax returns as soon as possible so that you can use the IRS Data Retrieval process when you complete your FAFSA.
  • If you estimate your income, you can later correct your estimated information using the data retrieval process.

Order an IRS Tax Return Transcript

  • IRS Tax Return Transcript : If your FAFSA is selected for verification and you did not use or are unable to use the data retrieval process, you will be required to order a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. (A personal copy of your tax return is not acceptable.)

Correcting your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval process

Image: IRS Data Retrieval tool - FAFSAWatch "IRS Data Retrieval Tool" for a short video guide on how to do this.

  • Return to www.fafsa.gov, log in, and follow the "Make Corrections" instructions.
  • You can use the IRS Data Retrieval process to correct your estimated income after you and your parents have filed your tax returns.

Unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval process?

If you are unable to use the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval process, complete your FAFSA following the instructions for each item or question.

You will be unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval process if:

  • You or your parents have not yet filed your tax returns
  • You or your parents filed tax returns as "married filing separately"
  • Your or your parents' marital status changes after the tax calendar year
  • You filed an amended tax return
  • You filed a foreign tax return

Why use IRS data retrieval?

Complete your IRS tax returns as soon as possible so that you can use the IRS Data Retrieval process when you complete your FAFSA.  Using IRS data retrieval will make completing your FAFSA faster, easier, and more accurate.