How Do I Order a Tax Return Transcript?

HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED TO ORDER TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPTS?

You will need to order a free tax IRS return transcripts for any of the following:

  • You were selected for verification, used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and changed the imported data on the FAFSA
  • You were selected for verification and could not or did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. You would not have been able to use the Data Retrieval Tool if you filed:
    • Married, filing separately,
    • Married, head of household,
    • An amended tax return*,
    • A foreign tax return, OR
    • Have a change in marital status after December 31st
    *An amended tax return means that the original tax return was changed or updated and a  additional 'Amended' tax return was filed.

Please Note: If you are able use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool but chose not to at the time, you can log back into your FAFSA and use the Data Retrieval Tool rather than having to order and submit a Tax Return Transcript.

HOW DO I ORDER MY TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPTS?

To order a Tax Return Transcript, please go to www.irs.gov -->Tools --> Get a Tax Transcript. Then choose how you would like to receive it (online or by mail) and follow the on screen prompts.

It is highly recommended that you try using the Data Retrieval Tool in the FAFSA application if  possible.

I'M HAVING ISSUES WITH MY ADDRESS or SECURITY QUESTIONS WHILE ORDERING ONLINE, WHAT NOW?

The address matching/security system used by the IRS to log in to their site is very picky, and it must match exactly with their information on file. The address should match what was on the tax return submitted. We suggest that you have your tax return copy for reference of the address. For example, spelling out the word “street” rather than using the abbreviation “st.” can be enough to cause an error in their system.

You have three tries before getting locked-out and if you do get locked out, you will have to wait 24 hours before being able to try again. Help is available at the IRS.gov Website Help Desk via a toll-free number at 1-800-876-1715, Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

WHEN CAN I ORDER MY TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPTS?

The timing of when you can successfully request a copy of your Tax Return Transcripts depends on if you owe taxes at the time of filing, and if you filed electronically or by paper. See below for more details.

 Filer Status Electronic Filing Paper Filing
Filer who either did not owe an amount, or is expecting a refund2-3 weeks after submission in most cases8-11 weeks later in most cases
Filer who owed an amount, and made a full payment while filing2-3 weeks after submission
in most cases
IRS will start processing the tax return in June, Tax Return Transcript requests can be made successfully 2-3 weeks later in most cases
Filer who owed an amount, and made a full payment after filing3-4 weeks after the payment is processed by the IRS in
most cases
IRS will start processing the tax return in June, Tax Return Transcript requests can be made successfully 2-3 weeks later in most cases
Filer who owed an amount, and have not yet paid in fullIRS will start processing the tax return in May, Tax Return Transcript requests can be made successfully 2-3 weeks later
in most cases
IRS will start processing the tax return in June, Tax Return Transcript requests can be made successfully 2-3 weeks later in most cases

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

It is free to order a tax return transcript.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE MY TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPT?

Requests made via the online order and phone options take an average of 5-10 days to be filled if all requirements are met.

WHAT IS A TAX ACCOUNT TRANSCRIPT?

A Tax Account Transcript is a summary of your return and does not satisfy the Tax Transcript requirement.  Please make sure that you are ordering a Tax Return transcript.

CAN I JUST SEND A COPY OF MY TAX RETURNS?

The U.S. Department of Education no longer accepts a tax return for verification purposes. The only exception is if you filed amended tax returns (see below).

I FILED AMENDED TAX RETURNS, WHAT DO I DO?

An amended tax return requires you to complete and submit an additional IRS form, the 1040X.

The requirements for an amended tax return are that you will need to submit a Tax Return Transcript AND a signed copy of your IRS Form 1040X.