IRS Verification Process
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2018–2019 Academic Year
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) allows students and parents to electronically transfer their IRS tax return information into the FAFSA. The IRS DRT, if successfully matched, is one method used to complete the FAFSA Verification process.
We strongly encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool during the initial filing of your FAFSA. Families must actively choose to utilize the IRS DRT by clicking “Link to IRS” on the FAFSA. If they choose to do so, they will be transferred to the Internal Revenue Service web site. There, the FAFSA Central Processing System (CPS) will conduct a data match with the IRS. In order to enhance the security and privacy of personal data transferred into the FAFSA from the IRS, the 2018–2019 IRS DRT will encrypt the student applicant and parent transferred tax data and hide it from view on both the IRS DRT website and on the FAFSA web pages. The words “Transferred from the IRS” will display in the data entry fields throughout the FAFSA form and on the Student Aid Report (SAR).
You and your parents are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if you:
- Filed your 2016 federal tax return with the IRS.
- Have a valid social security number.
- Have a Federal Student Aid ID
You and your parents are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:
- Your marital status changed after December 31, 2016.
- You filed taxes married filing separately.
- You filed an amended tax return.
- You filed a foreign tax return.
- You filed a tax return using a Tax Number (TIN).
- The home address on the FAFSA does not match the address on the tax return.
IRS Tax Return Transcript
If your FAFSA is selected for Verification and you and/or your parents are not eligible or choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on your FAFSA, the US Department of Education requires our office to collect a certified Tax Return Transcript processed by the IRS. Please make sure to request a Tax Return Transcript (DO NOT request a Tax Account Transcript, Record of Account Transcript, or Wage and Income Transcript).
Please note, that parents who are married but filing separately must submit two separate IRS Tax Return Transcripts. Transcripts are not required for those filing a foreign or Puerto Rican tax return.
Online Request for Tax Return Transcript:
- Go to www.irs.gov/transcript.
- Select “Get Transcript Online” or “Get Transcript by Mail."
- You will need to create an account by providing your name, e-mail address, SSN, and answering some security questions. Please make sure you use the address currently on file with the IRS. Typically, this will be the address that was listed on the latest tax return filed.
- Select “Higher Education/Student Aid” as your reason for requesting the Tax Return Transcript, which will provide you with a free transcript.
- Select the tax year for your Tax Return Transcript (i.e., “2016” for Academic year 2018–2019).
Telephone Request for Tax Return Transcript:
- Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 (7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.).
- Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their Social Security Number and the numbers of their street address. Generally, these will be the numbers of the street address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the U.S. Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
- Select "Option 2" to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript, and then enter tax year (i.e., “2016” for Academic year 2018–2019).
- 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 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request. Note: The IRS cannot send IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested by telephone directly to a third party.
Paper Request for Tax Return Transcript:
- Complete Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return).
- Mail or fax the completed IRS Form 4506-T to the appropriate address or fax number provided on page 2.
- You can expect your Tax Return Transcript to be mailed within 5 to 10 days from the IRS.
IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter
If your FAFSA is selected for Verification and you have not and are not required to file a 2016 federal tax return, you will need to provide an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter along with copies of your W-2 forms from all employers that paid wages in 2016 and an Income Tax Non-Filer Verification form.
The IRS Verification of Non-Filing letter is required from:
- Parents (of dependent students) who did not file a tax return.
- Independent students and/or their spouse who did not file a tax return.
Dependent students who did not file a tax return are not required to submit an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter.
The IRS Verification of Non-Filing letter can be requested from the IRS in one of three ways:
- Online request at www.irs.gov/transcript. Select “Get Transcript Online” or “Get Transcript by Mail.”
- Telephone request by calling the IRS at 800-908-9946 (7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m).
- Paper request by mailing IRS form 4506-T (make sure to check box 7).
If you have questions about the IRS Tax Return Transcript or IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter process, please review the IRS Get Transcript Frequently Asked Questions or call the IRS Tax Help line for individuals at 800-829-1040.