IRS Direct Data Exchange

The Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service have worked together to develop a process, known as the FUTURE Act Data Direct Exchange (FA-DDX). This process was formerly known as the IRS-DRT (Data Retrieval Tool). FA-DDX simplifies the steps to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What is the IRS Direct Data Exchange?

This tool allows you to consent for the exchange of federal tax information into your FAFSA. The process enables the FAFSA to retrieve income and tax data directly from the IRS.

All FAFSA applicants and contributors who indicate that they have filed their federal tax returns prior to completing their FAFSA may use the DDX process to complete their FAFSA.

Some families will not be able to use the DDX:

  • If the parents of a dependent student file separate tax returns;
  • If an applicant’s parent has a change in marital status after the end of the tax year on December 31;
  • If anyone has filed an amended tax return;
  • If the applicant or applicant’s parents have filed a foreign tax return.

If you are unable to use the DDX Tool you must request an IRS Tax Return Transcript to verify your income. You can request this from the following:

Federal tax return transcripts

How to request your free Tax Return Transcript if you are not eligible to use the DDX.


Visit and click on "Get Transcript Online.” If you haven’t already, you’ll need to create an IRS account and sign-in. Follow the prompts to print your Tax Return Transcript.


Call (800) 908-9946 and follow the prompts to enter the tax filer's information. Select "Option 2" to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript and then enter the appropriate tax year. If successfully validated, tax filers can expect their Tax Return Transcript to arrive at the address included in their online request within 5 to 10 business days.

Paper form

Use IRS form 4506T-EZ. It can be downloaded at Complete lines 1 through 4. Use the most current address on file with the IRS. Enter the appropriate tax year. Tax filers must sign and then mail or fax the completed form per instructions. Tax filers can expect to receive their transcript within 5 to 10 business days.

Who needs to submit a tax return transcript for verification?

We will notify you through your WMU email if you have been selected for verification. If you are selected for verification, you may need to submit a Tax Return Transcript if:

  • You are an independent student who is married and whose spouse filed a separate tax return.
  • You are a dependent student whose married parents filed a separate tax return.
  • You or your parent had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year.
  • You or your parent did not use the IRS Direct Data Exchange on the FAFSA, or didn't correct the FAFSA.
  • Information on the FAFSA is changed after it has been imported using the IRS Direct Data Exchange.
  • You did not use the IRS Direct Data Exchange when you completed your FAFSA.

You can request your transcript as soon as the IRS processes your return. The process time for online tax returns is 1 to 2 weeks and 6 to 8 weeks for paper returns. You do not need to sign your Tax Return Transcript.

Amended tax returns

If the filer filed an amended tax return, they will need to submit:

  • A signed copy of the original tax return that was filed with the IRS or an IRS tax return transcript or an IRS record of account and
  • A signed copy of the IRS form 1040X that was filed with the IRS.

These documents may also be retrieved online at Requests by mail using IRS form 4506-T may take up to 30 days to receive. Contact Bronco Express in unusual circumstances, such as you filed a foreign tax return or you were the victim of identity theft.

How the DDX works

If you and your parents have filed federal tax returns before starting the FAFSA, you will be able to obtain your income information while completing the FAFSA. If you have not filed federal tax returns before starting the FAFSA, you may input the IRS Direct Data Exchange information after filing federal tax returns by using the FAFSA corrections process.

Families must actively choose to utilize the direct data exchange tool. When you choose to do so, you will be transferred to the Internal Revenue Service website. You will need to authenticate your identity before any personal information is displayed. When entering your address, it is essential that you input your address exactly as it appeared on your tax return.