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The IRS Data Retrieval Process

The IRS Data Retrieval Process

If you are selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, all tax filers listed on your FAFSA will be required to submit an official IRS Tax Return Transcript for the base (previous) year to the Financial Aid Office.
We recommend following the steps listed below when completing the FAFSA:

1. Complete the FAFSA for the academic year you are planning to attend at Be sure to include the school codes for all colleges that you may be attending. You do not need to wait until you and your family file taxes before completing the FAFSA.


2. After all of the tax filers listed on your FAFSA have completed their tax returns for the base year and they have been processed by the IRS, log back into your FAFSA to use the IRS Data Retrieval process.  You will need your PIN to load the IRS information.  Your parent’s PIN will be needed to load their tax information as well.  Do not change any of the information that is loaded through this process.  Generally, the IRS Data Retrieval process becomes available in mid-February each year.

Click on the “Link to IRS” button in the “Student Tax Information” section. Carefully follow the directions to load your tax information into your FAFSA. If you are required to provide parent information on the FAFSA, you will also be required to click the “Link to IRS” button in the “Parent Financial Information” section of the FAFSA in order to load your parents’ tax information.

The information you provide to use the IRS Data Retrieval process must exactly match the information on the tax filer’s Federal Tax Return (name, address, filing status).


 3.  If a tax filer listed on the FAFSA is unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval process, we suggest ordering an official IRS Tax Return Transcript. An official IRS Tax Return Transcript can be ordered by calling 1-800-908-9946 or by following the instructions at Some tax filers will be able to instantly download a PDF copy of the tax transcripts at Other tax filers will need to request that a copy be mailed. Please note, it will take 5-10 days for the IRS to process a Tax Return Transcript if the document must be mailed. 


All tax filers must sign the IRS Tax Return Transcript.

Please note, the City Colleges of Chicago cannot process a Financial Aid Deferment until all required documents have been submitted to the appropriate Financial Aid Office. Payment arrangements must be made at the time of registration unless all requirements of the Financial Aid Process have been completed and the student is determined to be eligible for Financial Aid.​