IRS Data Retrieval Instructions

There are several ways to provide your Federal Tax Data to our office, if requested. Please find detailed instructions below. Click here for printable instructions.

IRS Data Retrieval through the FAFSA (Preferred Method)

The vast majority of students and parents can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to update the FAFSA and document their tax return.  However, if you (or the parent, if dependent) meet any of the criteria below, you cannot use the IRS DRT.

  • The tax return was amended
  • The person filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
  • The person is married but filed the tax return as either head of household or married filing separately.
  • Students or parents who filed a joint return but are now divorced, separated, or widowed when the application is signed.
  • The marriage date of the taxpayer is January 2016 or later.
  • The first three digits of the SSN are 666.
  • Neither married parent entered a valid SSN on the FAFSA.
  • A non-married parent or both married parents entered all zeroes for their SSN.

The IRS needs time to process your return before the data they collect can be made available.  Please allow 2 to 3 weeks after you filed your taxes electronically (or 6 to 8 weeks if you filed by mail) before using the IRS DRT. 

If you are eligible, follow these steps to utilize the IRS DRT: 

  1. Go to and click “Login”.  Enter your FSA ID and password and then click “Next”.
  2. Your current application status after login should say “Current Application Status: Processed Successfully”.  Chose the appropriate academic year and then select “Make FAFSA Corrections” toward the bottom of the page.
  3. Create a Save Key (i.e. a password so that you can return to your data if you have to leave before submitting).
  4. Select the 'Financial Information' tab.  Parent information is displayed first (if student is dependent).  To get to Student financial info, click “Next” at the bottom of the page to advance screens.
  5. Select 'Already Completed' (if not selected already) from the drop-down box for the question “For 20XX, have your parents (or You (the student)) completed their (your) IRS income tax return or another tax return?”
  6. Accurately answer the tax filing status question by checking this on the 1040 form of the tax filer.
  7. Answer the filter questions that appear under the heading, “You may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to view and transfer your tax information from the IRS.”
  8. If you (or parent) can answer “No” to the filter questions, the ‘Link To IRS’ button will display.  For parents, the parent will then need to select which parent they are and then enter his/her FSA ID User Name and Password before accessing the ‘Link To IRS’ button. 
  9. Select the 'LINK To IRS' button to access the IRS DRT.  You will then be directed to the IRS website.  Click “OK” to leave FAFSA on the Web and, again, click “OK” to enter the IRS system.
  10. On the IRS website, enter the requested information exactly as it appears on the tax filer’s tax return.  You should refer to the tax return that was submitted to the IRS so as to answer the questions accordingly and then click “Submit”.
  11. The IRS will then present you with the data they will provide to your FAFSA.  Click the box to “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA” and then click “Transfer Now”.  
  12. You are directed back to your FAFSA.   You should see the message, “You have successfully transferred your 20XX IRS tax information.”  You will also see “Transferred from the IRS” above each question that was answered by the IRS DRT.  Don’t make any changes to those answers (except where Individual Retirement Account or pension rollovers are involved)
  13. Repeat steps 5-12 to use the IRS DRT for the student (or for parent).
  14. Click “Sign & Submit” tab to sign for the corrections.  (It is recommended that you first review all sections of the FAFSA for accuracy before signing.  You may use the 'Next' and ‘Previous’ arrows at the bottom of the screen to scan through the pages of the FAFSA.)  Be aware that parent FSA ID and agreement to terms are needed in addition to the student’s if you are a dependent.
  15. Click “Submit my FAFSA Now” to complete the updates.  A confirmation page will appear.

Please note: You are not finished submitting corrections until you have received a confirmation number on the confirmation page. Please call FAFSA at 1-800-433-3243 if you have any questions.

***If you cannot use the IRS DRT and you are required to document tax returns for verification, you must submit a 2015 IRS Tax Return (not Account!) transcript.

IRS Tax Transcript Request Process

  1. To order online, go to, click “Tools”, and then click “Get Transcript of Your Tax Records”.  To order by phone, go to Telephone Request.
  2. Choose “Get Transcript Online” or “Get Transcript by Mail”.  Either option is fine.
  3. Click “OK” to close the pop-up window stating “THIS US GOVERNMENT SYSTEM IS FOR AUTHORIZED USE ONLY!”

Get Transcript Online (same day delivery)

  1. Sign In using your User ID or Sign Up by clicking “Create An Account”.
  2. If choosing to “Create An Account”, enter the tax filer’s First Name, Last Name, Email, and Confirm Email.
  3. Click “Send Email Confirmation Code”. This code will expire in 30 minutes.
  4. Retrieve your Confirmation Code by viewing your email account in another browser window.  DO NOT close the browser window.
  5. After retrieving your Confirmation Code, enter it into the Confirmation Code fields in the browser window.
  6. Click, “Verify Email Confirmation Code”.
  7. Enter your Social Security Number, date of birth, filing status, address, and phone numbers (optional).  When entering your address, please enter the address that is currently on file with the IRS.  Generally, this is the address that was listed on your filed 2016 IRS Income Tax Return.
  8. Continue to answer the questions under Sign Up: Step 4 of 6 on the IRS site.
  9. Create a Site Phrase and select a Site Image that you will recognize whenever you sign in.
  10. Select 4 security questions and create 4 separate and different answers to those questions.
  11. Create a User ID and password.  Write down your User ID for future reference.  Click “Continue” after your profile is successfully created.
  12. Select “Higher Education/Student Aid” as the reason you are requesting a transcript.
  13. Select the 2016 Return Transcript and wait while the IRS downloads your 2016 Return Transcript.
  14. Save and/or Print your downloaded 2016 Tax Return Transcript.
  15. Submit your 2016 Tax Return Transcript to the Office of Financial Aid.
  • Fax to 585-245-5717
  • Scan and email it to
  • Mail to:  SUNY Geneseo, Office of Financial Aid, 1 College Circle, 104 Erwin Hall, Geneseo, NY 14454

Get Transcript by Mail (received by mail in 5 to 10 business days)

  1. Enter requested information exactly as it appears on your tax return and click “Continue.”
  2. Under “Type of Transcript”, select “Return Transcript” (NOT Account Transcript) and choose the correct tax year used for the FAFSA.  Click “Continue”.   You’re done! Your transcript will be mailed within 5 to 10 business days.

*** Note – If the online process does not work or you want to submit a paper request to receive your Tax Return Transcript by mail you can submit the 4506-T or 4506-EZ to the IRS.

Telephone Request  (received by mail in 5 to 10 business days)

  1. Available from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-9946
  2. Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their Social Security number and the numbers in their street address. Generally this will be numbers of the street address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file. 
  3. Select “Option 2” to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript and then enter “2016”.
  4. If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in their telephone request, within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.

IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested by telephone cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.