How to Update Your FAFSA After Filing Taxes

It's time to update your FAFSA

Did you submit your 2016–17 FAFSA® before you (and your parents, if you’re a dependent student) filed your 2015 taxes? If so, it’s time to return to your application to update the information you estimated with the actual numbers from your 2015 tax return.

The easiest way to update your tax information is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT). It allows you to transfer your tax information directly into your FAFSA! Check to see if your tax return is available and if you’re eligible to use the tool. You usually have to wait a few weeks after filing your taxes before you can use the IRS DRT, but this tool can save you lots of time.

To update your FAFSA:

Step 1

Go to fafsa.gov and click Login.

Step 2

Students: Log in to the FAFSA using your FSA ID.
Parents:  Your child must initiate the FAFSA correction process by logging in first, continuing to Step #3, and creating a Save Key*. If you need to make corrections to your child’s FAFSA, get the Save Key from your child. Once you do, you can log in by entering the student’s information. The FAFSA will ask you to enter the “Save Key” if you wish to continue.
FAFSA login screen

*A Save Key is a temporary password meant to be shared between you and your child. It lets you and your child pass the FAFSA back and forth and allows you to save the FAFSA and return to it later. This is especially helpful if you and your child are completing the FAFSA, but are not in the same place.

Step 3

Click Make FAFSA Corrections.

Make FAFSA Corrections

Step 4

Navigate to the “Financial Information” section.

Step 5

Change your answer from “Will file” to Already completed.

2016-17 - Taxes Completed

Click to enlarge.

If you’re eligible to use the IRS DRT, you’ll see a Link to IRS button. If you’re not eligible to use the IRS DRT, you can manually enter the data from your completed tax return.

Step 6

Click Link to IRS and log in with the IRS to retrieve your tax information.

  • Enter the requested information exactly as it appears on your tax return.
IRS DRT Screenshot with 2015 tax info

Click to enlarge

 

  • Review your information to see what tax data will be transferred into your FAFSA.
  • Check Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA, and click Transfer Now to return to the FAFSA.
IRS DRT Screenshot with 2015 tax info

Click to enlarge

 

Step 7

Review the data that was transferred to your FAFSA, and click Next.

Step 8

Sign and submit your updated FAFSA using your FSA ID.

Once you’ve made updates at fafsa.gov, your changes will be processed in about three days. You’ll receive a revised Student Aid Report (SAR) showing the changes made to your application. Each school you listed on your FAFSA can access the revised information one day after it’s processed.

Remember, some state and school financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. So, log in today to update your FAFSA!

April Jordan is a senior communications specialist at Federal Student Aid

10 Comments

  1. Question #1: I am newly divorced (it was finalized March 2016). My exhusband and I filed our 2015 taxes as married, filing jointly. Do I need to use the data from our 2015 tax year 1040 exactly as it is when answering tax questions for the FAFSA, or do I need to put only my personal information (income, investments, etc) (&not my exhusband’s)?

    Question #2: My income is exempt from federal taxes (I am paid to provide care to a disabled family member in our own home). Do I need to report this income in a special way on the FAFSA?

    Question #3: How do I report child support received (for my children who live with me 100% of the time) on the FAFSA? (Is it included when estimating what my 2016 income will be?)

    To be clear, I am the student here. I am going back to college myself.

    Thank you for any and all help

  2. If my child receives merit based scholarship, but nothing in the way of need based financial aid, so I still have to update FAFSA?

  3. Our taxes are being finalized today,per information above it states may take a couple of weeks before we can use the tool to transfer. Is there a deadline date to update? Thank you

  4. Is there a deadline for updating tax info? I am waiting for a k1 from a business and they have requested an extension. Not sure when I will be able to update.

  5. I have been anxiously awaiting for my taxes to be completed so I can update the FAFSA tax info, however I was just notified this week that I will be receiving a corrected W2 form. Sometime in May timeframe. My taxes will now have to be filed by extension. I still don’t have the details of my specific taxes. Until when will I be able to update the tax information in FAFSA for my daughter’ application we completed back in January?

  6. I corrected my FASFA to use the Irs retrieval tool and realized my address is not exactly the same as on my return after I already sent the correction. Now the option to correct isn’t showing so how do I fix it?

  7. Hello I had to file an extension will I have still have access to the link when I file and if so for how long.

  8. Hate filling out these! Had more trouble this year than the one I did 2 years ago. Not happy.

  9. Hello,
    When we update the tax information on the FAFSA, do we need to update anything else? For example, our bank account balance isn’t exactly what it was before. Do we need to look up the current balance of all our accounts and update those?
    Thanks!

    • Not necessarily. The FAFSA asks for account balances that existed on the day the FAFSA was first filled out. If you are making a correction to a tax filing status, you don’t have to revisit any other fields unless the FAFSA has a reject code on it that has to be addressed before resubmission.

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