Verification Process

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Over the past few years, the Department of Education has gradually implemented a new online feature called the IRS Data Retrieval tool.

This secure online feature enables an applicant and his/her parents or spouse to view, request and transfer IRS tax data directly into the FAFSA application online. Instead of manually entering in tax information from the previous calendar year, or estimating this information, applicants now have a much more accurate tool for reporting their financial data.

Most notably, the IRS Data Retrieval tool will greatly reduce a student's chance of being selected for the Verification process, which delays the disbursement of Financial Aid funds to a student's account (more details below) until it is complete.

The IRS Data retrieval tool will streamline the financial aid application process by providing a more accurate analysis of an applicant's Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and providing a more efficient means to fulfill Verification Requirements. (These regulatory changes are given in subpart E of part 668 of title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations).


Eligibility

SMU encourages all eligible first-year and continuing students to complete the FAFSA online and to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Students and/or parents are eligible if they:

  • have a valid US Social Security Number (not all 6's, 8's or 0's)
  • have a Federal Student Aid pin
  • have had no marital status change after Dec. 31, 2013
  • Have already filed tax return with the IRS (either electronically or via paper form) at the time of completing the FAFSA.
  • have not filed an amended tax return with IRS for 2013 (Form 1040X)
  • filed taxes as “married filing jointly” if married; or, filed as “Single” or “Head of Household” if unmarried ***Note – if unmarried and living together, the Retrieval Tool cannot be used; IRS tax transcripts must be requested***
  • did not file a foreign (or Puerto Rican) tax return