When An IRS Tax Transcript is needed

If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval option when you filed your FAFSA (or were not able to), and you've been selected for Verification, you will need to order an IRS Tax Return Transcript for the appropriate tax year.

The federal regulations will allow us to accept a copy of your signed tax return as supporting documentation of the information you supplied on your FAFSA. For a dependent student by FAFSA rules, we will need IRS Tax Return Transcripts or signed tax returns for both the student and parent(s). Please note that the IRS will allow taxpayers to order just one tax transcript for each year. When you receive your transcript, make copies to submit to us, and retain the original for your records.

Some reasons you may not have been able to use IRS Data Retrieval include:

  • timing (FAFSA completed too close to date of income tax filing),
  • your tax filing information changed,
  • married student and spouse filed separate tax returns,
  • parents of dependent student filed separate tax returns,
  • student or parents of dependent student had a change in marital
  • status after 12/31/, and/or
  • student or parents of dependent student filed an amended tax return.

After you receive your IRS Tax Return Transcript(s), please forward a copy to the Financial Aid Office via mail or by fax (276.326.4356) as quickly as possible to avoid delay in processing your aid. As an option, you may wish to request your transcript(s) using the paper form, where you can specify they be sent directly to us. Instructions listed below.

If you were unable to use IRS Data Retrieval simply due to timing, you may go in and make a correction to the FAFSA after sufficient time has passed (two weeks for electronic filing, six weeks for paper filing). Likely, in this case, no IRS Tax Transcripts will be needed.

If you requested a filing extension or have filed an amended tax return, you will need to order both an IRS Tax Return Transcript, as well as an IRS Tax Account Transcript.

How to Order IRS Tax Transcripts

Tax filers can request a transcript, free of charge, from the IRS in one of three ways.

Online Request – IRS Data Retrieval Tool for FAFSA
    • View and print your IRS tax return transcript immediately online by following the instructions at http://www.irsdataretrievaltool.com/download-irs-tax-return-transcript-online.
    • To register and use this service, you need:
      • your SSN, date of birth, filing status and mailing address from latest tax return,
      • access to your email account,
      • your credit card number or account number from an auto loan, mortgage, home equity loan or home equity line of credit, and
      • a mobile phone with your name on the account.
Telephone Request
  • Available from the IRS by calling 1.800.908.9946.
  • Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their social security number and the numbers in their street address. Generally, this will be numbers of the street address that was listed on the latest tax return filed; however, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
  • Select “Option 2” to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript.
  • If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in their telephone request within five to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.
  • IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested by telephone cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.
Paper Request Form – IRS Form 4506T-EZ
  • IRS Form 4506T-EZ should be used instead of IRS Form 4506-T because it is sufficient to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript.
  • Download at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf. Tax filers can expect to receive their transcript within five to 10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes their signed request.

Note: Processing form 4506T-EZ means verifying/validating the information provided on the form. If any information does not match the IRS records, the IRS will notify the tax filer that it was not able to provide the transcript.

The IRS provides tax transcript tips for those who are completing a 2019-20 FAFSA here.