FAFSA and IRS link

<p>I am fairly comfortable with the FAFSA - 4th year doing it - but I am confused regarding the new option to import income from the IRS directly. I was working on FAFSA today - question 80 is about parental income - the "helpful" box to the right mentions that you can use the IRS link - but I see nowhere to click on any link? Where the blank is it?</p>

<p>I am planning to submit Federal tax return to IRS in the next 1-2 days and was hoping to submit FAFSA by 2/1. Do I have to wait a certain amount of time after electronically submitting 1040 to IRS before I can use this mysterious link? Should I check with my son's university to see if they require use of this link? Nothing on their FA website mentions it.</p>

<p>I would appreciate any clarification.</p>

<p>I believe there is a time lag between filing your taxes and the information being available to link to the FAFSA. I also read here on CC somewhere that the link will not be available until Feb 1st. YMMV
I do know my continuing D1's college requires the FAFSA to be filed after it is linked to the IRS. They will not accept the FAFSA otherwise - and they still request Taxes through IDOC, lastly their date to file is earlier this year than the last 2 years. I would check with the school to see what they want as this year it may be different.
Here is some info from FAFSA
How</a> the parent IRS data retrieval tool works</p>

<p>I just found this online:</p>

<p>For 2012-2013 FAFSA submittals the IRS Tool is expected to be available beginning
February 1st, 2012.</p>


<pre><code>Applicants can complete their FAFSA more easily and accurately!
The tool will increase the accuracy in the awarding for student financial aid funds!
Applicants selected for verification can use the tool to update their income information and avoid unnecessary processing delays!

<p>Select this link for a brief tutorial on the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval Tool</p>


<pre><code>ALL applicants and parents who indicate they have filed a federal tax return will be directed to use the IRS Tool.
Applicants and parents who indicate they will file a federal tax return will receive email communication(s) directing them to use the IRS Tool to update their income information once they have filed their 2011 federal income tax return.
Applicants selected for the verification process will be required to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (or) they may choose to request a tax transcript from the IRS which can later be submitted to the Financial Aid Office.

Electronic Tax Filers Data will be available within 2 weeks of filing</p>

<p>And this:</p>

<p>When will it be available?</p>

<p>The IRS data retrieval tool becomes available for the 2013-2013 FAFSA on February 1, 2012. Some of you out there may be wondering “well what do I do if I file my FAFAS before then?” and here’s the answer: Students who file before Feb 1 can use tax estimates, and file a correction once your taxes are complete. The Department of Education plans to send a email to filers who chose to estimate, as a reminder to go back and update the information. Once your taxes are filed, you can then go in and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.</p>

<p>Note: Applicants who use the IRS data retrieval tool and then manually update a field, or who opt out of using it, may be selected for verification. This means you will need to explain why your update is more accurate than what was pulled from the IRS and back it up with documentation.</p>

<p>This link just happens to be from the University of Utah - but is a very clear description of how to use the IRS data retrieval tool:</p>

<p>FAFSA</a> IRS Data Retrieval - Financial Aid and Scholarships - The University of Utah</p>

<p>Note: Applicants who use the IRS data retrieval tool and then manually update a field, or who opt out of using it, may be selected for verification. This means you will need to explain why your update is more accurate than what was pulled from the IRS and back it up with documentation.</p>


<p>In this case, you will be expected to submit a tax transcript from the IRS. If you changed it because you filed an amended return, schools are not just going to let you turn in an amended return. You will be required to prove that you actually submitted that return.</p>

<p>kelsmom -- I'm still waiting on a couple of 1099s, but I was planning on having my taxes done as soon as they come, and filing the FAFSA as "filed". I don't think there will be enough time for me to utilize the new link by the time our FAFSA is due Feb. 15. I was told by a Financial Aid officer at a different school that I could do it that way, then request a transcript from the IRS to have on hand if my kids' schools request it. Does this sound like a good plan?</p>

<p>Yes, that is a good way to do it. When you call to request the transcript, hit 0 over & over until you get a person. Ask to have it faxed to you ... it's much faster than mailing (especially with the incredibly slow mail of late). It's free. Make sure to sign it before you submit it to the school ... and put your student's name and student ID at the top of EACH page.</p>

<p>Thanks, kelsmom! I already estimated 2011 for the Profile and would really prefer to use actual 2011 numbers for the FAFSA and be done!</p>

<p>I am waiting to hear back from son's college whether they want us to do "will file" and submit FAFSA now - and then go back and correct it to "have filed" and use the IRS data retrieval tool in 2 weeks OR just file like we did last year - "have filed" and enter the information manually. I submitted our tax return electronically today. Or I guess a third option is just to wait two weeks before submitting the FAFSA and do "have filed" and use the data retrieval tool. As with any change - a little confusing!</p>

<p>Please Help Me! I am so confused. Our tax man always does our taxes and we mail them. He is old school and use to work for the IRS. He works miracles. So we had our taxes done and picked them up on Friday. Now, I am ready to fill out the FAFSA. Oooops. Wait! I have to file my taxes ONLINE!!!! Really? New rule about using the online data retreving tool for fafsa? We are self employed and our taxes are a book. Any advice? I am going to call our tax man tomorrow to see if he can file online. I think the answer will be no. Can I not federal express them? Please advise. Thanks</p>

<p>No, you do not have to file them online. However, your school "may" request that you do the link or provide a tax transcript if they verify your FAFSA. In this case, it takes longer to get the info if you file the old fashioned way ... 6 weeks, I think (that is what it was last spring, anyway). It can hold up your aid package, but you can still make it work.</p>

<p>Thank you kelsmom. I think I will take this one step at a time by calling tax man tomorrow, the school finaid dept., fafsa and maybe IRS. Then I will decide how to proceed. And here I thought I was on top of things getting our taxes done 1-25. Ha...boy was I wrong. I don't want to hold up finaid for six weeks. I have never filed a fafsa before so this is a new experience. Thanks again.</p>

<p>So it appears that the timeline is as follows:
1. File taxes.
2. Approx. 2 weeks later, file FAFSA.
3. When prompted by the FAFSA app, link to IRS, IRS fills out some FAFSA fields</p>

<p>If this is correct, then none of us with priority deadlines before 2/14 can use the link, unless we electronically filed our taxes on or before 1/18.</p>

<p>My ds has a priority deadline of 2/5 - So we go ahead & file FAFSA now, stating we haven't filed our taxes yet (even if they're ready right now, because the IRS won't have the information ready until about 2 weeks after we electronically file). At some later point in time, we can update the FAFSA electroncially, using the marvelous link?
Do I understand this correctly?</p>

<p>I would say you do understand this correctly. I think it is o.k. to file fafsa and tax info and the auto link in the manner which you have described. I don't believe it will affect the financial aid negatively. You sound like you are in a great position. Good Job.</p>

<p>one last time, just to make sure I have this correct...</p>

<p>we filed fafsa Jan. 5th with the "will file" status. We filed taxes today, now we wait 2 weeks for for IRS to process the taxes and then we update the fafsa using the new link?</p>

<p>what was the point in rushing to get the fafsa done before the link was even in effect? from what I understand we cant even use it until Feb. 1st.</p>

<p>I just spoke with someone in my son's college FA office and they said we do not need to wait two weeks to use this new link. They will use it for verification purposes on selected loans - but I don't have to use it now. So - I do suggest checking with your college(s).</p>

<p>I'm so sorry, but can you explain a little further?</p>

<p>Sure - you basically have several options:</p>

<p>File FAFSA after doing your taxes - file as "have completed" - enter tax info manually. This is how it has been done in past years.</p>

<p>File FAFSA two weeks after sending your taxes to the IRS electronically - file the FAFSA as "have completed" and use the IRS link to transfer your income and tax info directly from the IRS into the FAFSA form</p>

<p>File FAFSA as "will complete" using your best estimates - and do a correction in March or April - use the IRS link - wait until two weeks after electronically submitting your tax return.</p>

<p>I wasn't sure which approach to take - whether I should wait and use the link - or submit now and skip the link. I called my son's university - they said it was ok to send the FAFSA now and skip the link - just enter the income numbers and taxes paid manually. But this may vary from one college to the next - so I suggest you check.</p>

<p>@rockvillemom - I suspect this varies considerably by school, as I know that Caltech won't accept a "self filled out" FAFSA... they require that the info comes from the IRS link (so I am wondering if it auto fills pertinent lines). So while they have received our FAFSA they won't accept it for another 2 weeks basically. They do also take the CSS Profile, so that will be sent today (hopefully).</p>

<p>Right - if you use the IRS link - it will auto-fill the relevant lines - any questions pertaining to income - taxes paid - deductions - and so forth. I just want people to be aware that because this link is brand new - some colleges are not requiring it - while some are. I think getting the FAFSA in before the deadline is most critical - call the individual college if you have a concern about the timing of being able to use the link in time for the deadline.</p>