FAFSA Verification and the IRS Transcript Process
Verification is the process by which colleges review student financial aid applications for accuracy. Roughly 30 percent of all FAFSAs filed are selected for verification and the process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded. Students selected for verification who did not use the IRS data retrieval tool are required to submit an official tax return transcript from the IRS. (Learn more about what to expect when you're selected for verification.) Financial aid offices can no longer accept copies of federal tax returns.
Tax filers can request a free transcript of their federal tax return for the current academic year from the IRS in one of three ways:
1. Available on the IRS website www.irs.gov
- In the Tools section of the homepage, click Get transcript of your tax records.
- Click on Get transcript online.
- Create an account.
- Click on appropriate year.
- View your transcript as a PDF file.
2. Telephone Request
- Available from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-9946.
- Follow the prompts to enter your SSN and numbers in your street address.
- Select Option 2 to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript and then enter the year you are requesting.
- If successfully validated, you can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in the telephone request within five to 10 days.
- IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested by telephone cannot be sent directly to a third party.
3. Paper Request Form
- Download IRS Form 4506T-EZ.
- The paper form provides an option to have the transcript mailed directly to a third party. NOTE: Some colleges may not want you to send the transcript directly as it is difficult to match a parent's transcript to the correct aid applicant. Check with your college before requesting this.
- Mail or fax the completed form to the appropriate address or number provided on page 2 of the form.
- If successfully validated, you can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address provided on the form.