If we used the word “automatic” and “FAFSA” in the same sentence, would we have your attention? Howe about adding the potential option to select a direct way to “transfer your tax information” into the FAFSA. Would this make you more likely to meet the March 2nd FAFSA and Cal Grant deadline? Yes? Then you are in luck!
**Do NOT wait until your taxes are filed – the FAFSA wants you to enter tax information from last year’s return, referred to as “prior-prior year.” The 2018–19 FAFSA form asks for 2016 tax information.**
There is a tool that automatically transfers tax information into the FAFSA form.
It is the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)
Be sure to consider this option if it’s offered to you.
What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)? The IRS DRT provides tax data that automatically fills in information for part of the FAFSA form, as well as for the income-driven repayment plan application for federal student loan borrowers.
The IRS DRT is available on the 2018–19 FAFSA form for eligible individuals. (You’ll need an FSA ID in order to use the tool.)
Here’s how the IRS DRT process works, assuming your tax information is available:
- The IRS DRT takes you to the IRS website, where you’ll need to provide your name and other information exactly as you provided it on your tax return. Some information will be prepopulated from your FAFSA form.
- At the IRS site, you’ll see a page that indicates that your tax information is available. (You won’t see the actual information.) You can choose to import your information into the FAFSA form, or you can cancel your request and return to the FAFSA site.
- If you choose to import your information into the FAFSA form, you’ll find that on the FAFSA site, instead of your tax information being displayed, you’ll see “Transferred from the IRS” in the appropriate fields. You won’t be able to make changes to those answers.
Using the IRS DRT saves you time and effort:
- You don’t have to find your tax records.
- You don’t have to worry about making mistakes entering your tax information on your FAFSA® form.
- You may not need to provide tax transcripts if you’re selected for verification.
Information from Federal Student Aid studentaid.ed.gov