One of our parents brought up great questions about the IRS data retrieval tool this weekend. The basis for the tool is that it automatically pulls the data from your 2016 tax returns to streamline the process. However, after the data breaches last Spring, the IRS has instituted new measures to ensure greater security. What does that mean for you? You will not be able to see any of your tax data that is pulled into the FAFSA. I spoke with two financial aid representatives today, one from A&M and one from SMU. The A&M representative said that entering the data manually may just mean that you would be more likely to be requested to verify your tax data. This requires submitting your tax transcript. The SMU representative, however, stated that using the data retrieval tool was required, and that if you did not use the retrieval tool, you would be automatically asked to turn in your transcript. She recommended checking your tax transcript first, which can be done by following this link, and as long as that information is correct, then the retrieval tool should be pulling the correct information.