The Education Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced Thursday, March 30, that the online service known as the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) will stay offline for the rest of this application season. This is in order to add security protections. Up until mid-March, families could use the DRT to import their tax information automatically to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
If you have not completed a FAFSA for 2017-18, you will now have to manually enter 2015 tax information (not 2016) using old tax returns. This can make it more difficult to file for aid, so if you have any questions, please contact our office.
For students selected for verification, you will no longer be able to use the DRT to document tax information. At this time, students, spouses, and parents will need to request a Tax Return Transcript, if requested by us, directly from the IRS. There are several ways you can request this document.
- Get .pdf immediately: Go to irs.gov/transcript. Select the “Get Transcript Online” option. With proper identity verification, you can request an online transcript and receive a .pdf of your tax return transcript. Not everyone will be able to successfully use this feature.
- Be mailed a hard copy: Go to irs.gov/transcript. Select the “Get Transcript by Mail” option. Follow the instructions to complete the request online and a copy of your tax return transcript will be sent by mail.
- Call the IRS at 800-908-9946 and follow the prompts.
- Complete and submit form 4506-T EZ to the IRS. You will be mailed a copy of your tax return transcript from the IRS to turn in to our office.
You can contact your local IRS building and schedule an appointment to get assistance with this process if you need it. Find your local IRS here.
As always, if you have any questions about this process please let us know!