IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The Department of Education, in collaboration with the Internal Revenue Service, has implemented an online feature called the IRS Data Retrieval.

This secure online tool enables an applicant, their parents, or spouse to request and transfer IRS tax return data directly into theFAFSA application online. Instead of manually entering tax information from the previous calendar year, or estimating this information, applicants now have an accurate tool for reporting their financial data. Due to the reduction in potential errors, using the IRS DRT can greatly reduce a student's chance of being selected for the Verification process, where by avoiding lengthy delays in financial aid disbursements. 

The IRS DRT streamlines the financial aid application process by providing a more accurate representation of an applicant's Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and providing a more efficient means to fulfill Federal Verification Requirements.


Students and/or parents are eligible if they meet the following:

  • have a valid US Social Security Number (not all 6's, 8's or 0's)
  • have a Federal Student Aid ID
  • have had no marital status change after Dec. 31 of the previous tax year.
  • have already filed your prior-prior year tax return with the IRS (either electronically or paper form). Example, aid year 2021-2022 utilizes tax information from 2019.
  • have not filed an amended tax return with IRS for the 2019 tax year (Form 1040X)
  • tax filing status 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.
  • did not file a foreign tax return, a Puerto Rico tax return or Form 1040-NR or 1040NR-EZ

*Important note*if you change your or your parents' tax information after using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, then an IRS Tax Return Transcript or signed copy of the 1040 Tax Return will need to be submitted in order to provide SMU with the most accurate data. If you have changed the tax info to remove Rollover portions of untaxed Pensions or IRA distributions, please contact your financial aid advisor and provide documentation supporting the Rollover status. 


SMU strongly encourages students and/or parents who are eligible to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA.