Obtaining Tax Information for Verification
If you need to submit a tax return transcript for yourself/your parents/your spouse, you have two options:
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool via the FAFSA, if you are eligible. (Click here to see a list of exceptions.) This process takes 3-4 business days from the time the transfer was successful. See Option #1 below.
- Download a copy of your tax return transcript directly from the IRS. This option takes 10-15 minutes. See Option #2 below.
- Order the tax return transcript directly from the IRS (free of charge). The IRS will send the tax return transcript to you within 5-10 business days. When you receive it, make a copy of both sides for your records and submit a copy of both sides to our office for processing. See Option #3 below.
If you are a victim of tax-related identity theft or you have filed an extension with the IRS (Form 4868), please contact us at email@example.com for assistance.
In lieu of requesting a tax return transcript from the IRS, you/your parent has the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in FAFSA on the Web, which will automatically transfer your/your parents’ information from the IRS to your FAFSA once you have filed a federal tax return. This tool will be available two weeks after you file your taxes electronically with the IRS or eight weeks after you submit your paper tax return to the IRS.
Click here to watch a how-to video on using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, otherwise, follow the steps below.
- Log into the FAFSA website with student Social Security Number and FSA ID.
- Choose “make FAFSA corrections.”
- Hit “next” on the bottom of the screens until you get to the page titled “Student Financial Information” and/or “Parent Financial Information” (depending on whose taxes you are trying to link the FAFSA).
- Review the question about tax filing status. You will be required to change the answer from “will file” or “will not file” to “already complete.”
Answer the questions that will determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you are, continue:
- Enter FSA ID and click “Link to IRS.”
- On the IRS website, enter the requested information to confirm your identity and click “submit.”
- Click the box under the “Transfer my tax information into the FAFSA” and then click “Transfer Now.”
- Follow the same steps for the “Student Financial Information” or “Parent Financial Information” section, depending on your situation and whose tax information you just successfully transferred.
- When complete, follow screen prompts until you get to the “sign and submit” page. You will need the FSA IDs again.
- You will know your FAFSA was submitted when you get the following screen information: “Congratulations, STUDENT NAME, your FAFSA was successfully submitted….”
- The Financial Aid office will receive your corrected FAFSA in 3-4 business days, at which time they will review your financial aid file and complete the verification process if all other required documentation has been received.
- Start at www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript (Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browsers work best)
- Choose “Get Transcript Online” to download a PDF that you can save to your computer/email to firstname.lastname@example.org or print immediately.
- New users will need to register. Registration takes 10-15 minutes. Each tax payer (student/spouse/parent) will need to register on their own.
- Once you are registered, select “Higher Education/Student Aid” as the reason you need a transcript.
- In the box that says “Return Transcript” choose “2015.” (The return transcript is the only one acceptable for financial aid.)*This is where you would choose Wage & Income Transcript if you need W2s.
- Allow the website to process your request. A pop-up window of your tax return transcript will appear in a separate browser window. You have to turn off any pop-up blockers or add www.irs.gov to your safe list.
- You can save the transcript to your computer (not recommended if you are using a public machine unless you have a flash drive) or print a copy.
- Sign out when you are finished. Be sure to keep your username and password in a secure spot.
To obtain an IRS tax return transcript for you and/or your parent or spouse, start at the IRS website and follow the directions below. The IRS will mail you a copy of the transcript within 5-10 business days.
- Enter your Social Security Number and date of birth.
- Enter your street address (NOTE: if you do not enter your address in the exact same way it was entered on your tax return, the IRS will not be able to process your request) and your zip code.
- Click “Continue”
- Select “Return Transcript” for the type of transcript and select the tax year. Do not order an account transcript. We cannot accept account transcripts.
- Select “Continue.” You will see a confirmation page if your request was successfully processed.
You may also order a tax return transcript from the IRS by phone at 1-800-908-9946.
When you receive the tax return transcript in the mail 5-10 days after ordering, make a copy of both sides for your records and submit one copy (both sides) to the Office of Student Financial Aid. You may drop it off in ZipAssist (Simmons Hall Lobby), email a scanned copy to email@example.com, or fax it to 330-972-7139. If you scan or fax, make sure to get both sides of the return transcript, as it is double-sided.