IRS Data Retrieval Process

The Data Retrieval Tool is a feature of the FAFSA on the Web (FOTW) that allows financial aid applicants and their parents to retrieve and transfer, from the IRS using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), certain income and information reported on their federal income tax returns. This capability ensures the most accurate information is reported on the applicant’s FAFSA.

Starting with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the retrieval of Federal Taxpayer Information by the the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT), will be replaced by the Direct Data Exchange (DDX). We will update this page with more detail on the changes as they become available.

Important Changes to the Data Retrieval Process

  • All FOTW applicants who indicate they have filed a federal tax return will be directed to use the IRS DRT.
  • FOTW applicants and parents who indicate they will file a federal tax return will receive an email directing them to use the IRS DRT to update their income information once they have filed their federal tax return.
  • Applicants selected for the Federal Verification process will be strongly encouraged to use the IRS DRT. Those who refuse, or who are not eligible to use the DRT will be required to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript or a signed copy of the Federal 1040 Tax Return to Miami which may result in a processing delay and possible changes to their financial aid.

Benefits of Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)

  • Applicants can complete their FAFSA more easily and accurately.
  • Financial aid awards will be more accurate.
  • Applicants selected for Federal Verification can use the tool to verify their income information, avoiding the requirement to submit their Tax Return to Miami for the Federal Verification review, which can cause processing delays and possible changes in aid.

Eligibility for using the IRS DRT

Most tax filers are eligible to utilize the IRS DRT.

If you meet any of the criteria below, you will not be able to utilize the IRS DRT and, therefore, must manually enter your tax return information:

  • Tax filer's filing status is 'Married Filing Separately'
  • Tax filer's filing status is 'Head of Household' and you are married
  • Applicants whose marital status has changed as of January 1 for the tax year filed for the FAFSA
  • Tax filer files a foreign return in lieu of federal return
  • Tax filer files a return for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in lieu of federal return
  • Tax filer recently filed federal return (see below for timing)
  • Applicants who are neither eligible nor required to file a federal tax return for the tax year for the FAFSA

Availability of Data from the IRS

To allow time for data to be available from the IRS, applicants must wait the appropriate amount of time before being able to use the IRS DRT on the FAFSA. The IRS has suggested the following, based on your tax filing method:

  • Electronic tax filers: within 2 weeks of filing taxes
  • Paper tax filers: within 6 to 8 weeks of filing taxes

IRS DRT and Federal Verification

If your FAFSA is selected for Federal Verification, the requirement for verifying your and your parents’ (if applicable) tax return information will be satisfied if you utilized the IRS DRT on your FAFSA. Please note: if you make any updates to your FAFSA's tax information once the IRS DRT has been used, you will be required to support your changes to us by sending a Federal tax return transcript or a signed Federal 1040. We advise applicants and parents to contact the One Stop with any questions in regard to reporting changes in income instead of making changes to their FAFSA once the IRS DRT has been used.

Please do not send us your tax transcripts or 1040 unless you have been selected for Federal Verification and you are unable to use the IRS DRT. Read more regarding the Federal Verification process.

If you initially filed your FAFSA and chose not to use the IRS DRT, you can follow these steps to utilize the IRS DRT.

As early as two weeks after filing taxes electronically (or six to eight weeks if filing paper), the applicant should be able utilize the IRS DRT.

  1. Go to and select “Login”
  2. Complete the Tell Us About Yourself page:
    1. Students: Enter your FSA ID Username and Password and select “Next”
    2. Parents: Enter the student’s personal identifiers and select “Continue”
  3. Please Read Before Continuing “Accept or “Decline”
  4. Select “Make a Correction”
  5. After reviewing and selecting “Continue”, you will see:
    1. Students: Create a Save Key and select “Continue”
    2. Parents: Enter student’s FSA ID Username and Password, create a Save Key and select “Continue”
  6. Scroll to the "Parent Financials" or "Student Financials" section and select "Enter Section"
  7. Complete the Tax Filing Status questions
  8. Select the "Proceed to the IRS" button
  9. On the next page, select “Proceed to the IRS” again to confirm you are leaving the FAFSA form to access the IRS DRT and transfer the tax information to the FAFSA.
  10. On the Get My Federal Income Tax Information page, enter the correct personal information and select “Submit”
  11. Review the Tax Information then check mark the small box (this step is very important) in the “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA Form” section and then select “Transfer Now”
    1. This will import the Tax Information directly into the FAFSA showing “Transferred from IRS” in all appropriate boxes and are uneditable. You must then answer all remaining questions on the page.
  12. Select "Continue" or "Next Section" at the bottom of each page until you reach the ‘Sign & Submit’ page and complete the final steps to sign the FAFSA again before submitting the correction(s).
    1. Dependent Students only: both the student AND a parent must sign the FAFSA again with their FSA ID, usernames, and passwords and check mark both boxes that you each agree to the terms, otherwise the corrections will be rejected.

Miami University will receive an updated Student Aid Report to notify us that the IRS DRT was used. For applicants selected for Federal Verification, this should satisfy the IRS tax documentation requirement. Starting with the 2024-2025 FAFSA, the Student Aid Report (SAR) will be replaced with the FAFSA Submission Summary.