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Tax Transcript/IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Copies of tax returns are not an acceptable form of income documentation.  Please do not submit copies of your federal tax returns unless specifically asked to do so.  Documentation of items found on a tax return will need to be completed one of two ways:

1.  Using the 'Link to IRS' feature found on the FAFSA website.  This is the (preferred method) as there is less chance that we will have conflicting information on file which would require further follow-up or additional documentation.  Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) satisfies the need to verify tax items (but don't forget to still submit the Verification Worksheet!) This in turn allows the review of your file to be completed more quickly.  Everyone who filed a tax return is strongly encouraged to use this tool.  Review this video for details on how to update your income information after filing the FAFSA.  IRS Data Retrieval Video  -OR-

2.  Request a tax return transcript from the IRS.  If you choose not to use the IRS DRT, please make sure you request a Tax Return Transcript.  Do not request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account because they cannot be used for financial aid verification purposes.  There are three ways to request your tax transcript:

Online Request:

Go to http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript. Choose either:
  • "Get Transcript Online"
    • This is the fastest way to get a transcript. You are able to view and print your transcript immediately after authenticating your identity. Select Create an Account and enter the requested information.A confirmation code will be sent to your email account.You need to enter that code to verify the email.Continue through the Sign Up process answering the questions.You will need to answer some personal questions in order to authenticate your request.

    • You will need to use the address currently on file with the IRS. Generally this will be the 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.

    • Once an account is successfully created, select "Higher Education/Student Aid" as the reason for requesting a transcript.

    • Select “Return Transcript” for "2013" for the 2014-2015 FAFSA; "2012" for the 2013-2014 FAFSA.

    • Your requested transcript will open in a new window.  You should print a pdf copy to submit to the Financial Aid Department, and print or make an additional copy for your own records.  -OR-

  • "Get Transcript by Mail"
    • Enter requested information.  If you selected "Get a Transcript by Mail" you can expect transcript to be sent to the address listed on the return about 5 to 10 days from the time the request was successfully transmitted to the IRS.
Telephone Request:

Call the IRS automated phone Transcript Order Line at 1-800-908-9946.  Enter the information requested.

  • Use the address currently on file with the IRS.  Generally this will be the 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 a Tax Return Transcript.
  • Enter "2013" for the 2014-2015 FAFSA; 2012 for the 2013-2014 FAFSA.
  • If successfully validated, you can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in your telephone request, within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.
By Mail-Paper Request Form - IRS Form 4560T-EZ

  • IRS Form 4506T-EZ can be used instead of IRS Form 4506-T as an acceptable means of requesting an IRS Tax Return Transcript.
  • Download at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf. (scroll down to form)
  • Complete lines 1 – 4, following the instructions on page 2 of the form.Note that line 3 should be the most current address as filed with the IRS. It is the address where the IRS Tax Return Transcript will be sent. If the address has recently changed, include the address listed on the latest tax return filed on Line 4. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
  • Line 5 provides tax filers with the option to have their IRS Tax Return Transcript mailed directly to a third party by the IRS.UWM prefers you have the transcript mailed to you and that you then submit it to our office. You will need to make sure the student’s name and student ID # are on the transcript.
  • On line 6, enter “2013” for the 2014-2015 FAFSA; “2012” for the 2013-2014 FAFSA.
  • The tax filers (or spouse if requesting information from a joint tax return) must sign and date the form and enter their telephone number. Only one signature is required to request a transcript for a joint return.
  • Mail or fax the completed IRS Form 4506T-EZ to the appropriate address (or FAX number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506T-EZ.
  • You can expect to receive your transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes your 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.

FAQ Tax Transcripts

Acceptable Documentation for Individuals Unable to Obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript, effective 10/17/14 for 2014-2015 only

For the remainder of the 2014-2015 award year verification, a signed paper copy of a 2013 tax return may be accepted.  However, it can only be used when the tax filer had recently requested an IRS Tax Return Transcript but was unsuccessful in obtaining the transcript.

The alternative documentation that must be submitted by the tax filer to the institution is as follows:

1.  A signed copy of the relevant (i.e., applicant, spouse, parent) 2013 IRS Tax Return.

2.  For tax filers who attempted to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript using IRS Form 4506T-EZ or Form 4506-T, a copy of the IRS response that was provided to the tax filer stating that the IRS could not provide the request transcript.  The copy of the IRS response must be signed and dated by the tax filer - OR -

     For the tax filers who had attempted to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript using the IRS online transcript request process, a signed copy of the screen print from the official IRS Web page that displays the message indicating that the transcript request was unsuccessful. 


Because the IRS does not provide written confirmation of the failure of a transcript request made using its automated phone tool at 1-800-908-9946, there is no alternative documentation for that process.  Impacted tax filers must attempt to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript using either the IRS paper or online transcript request process and, if unsuccessful, provide the above noted documentation.

3.  The tax filer must provide to the institution a completed and signed IRS Form 4506T-EZ or Form 4506_T that includes on line 5 the name, address, and telephone number of the institution as the third party to whom the IRS is to mail the 2013 IRS Tax Return Transcript.

Timeline for Availability of IRS Data Retrieval Tool and Tax Return Transcript


2014-2015 FAFSA Verification
Availability of 2013 Information for
The FAFSA on the Web IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS-DRT) and for Requesting IRS Tax Return Transcripts

When a tax return filer who—

IRS DRT Available and IRS Tax Return Transcript May Be Requested

If Tax Return Filed Electronically

If Tax Return Filed by Paper

At the time their tax return was submitted to the IRS, has no amount owed or has an expected refund

·Generally tax returns are accepted by the IRS within a day or two of the return having been electronically filed with the IRS.

·In most cases, IRS DRT is available and an IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 2-3 weeks after the return has been accepted by the IRS.

·Generally tax returns are accepted by the IRS when the tax return is received by the IRS.

·In most cases, IRS DRT is available and an IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 8-11 weeks after the tax return has been accepted by the IRS.

At the time their tax return was submitted to the IRS, has an amount owed and makes a full payment on that amount

·Generally tax returns are accepted by the IRS within a day or two of the return having been electronically filed with the IRS.

·In most cases, IRS DRT is available and an IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 2-3 weeks after the return has been accepted by the IRS.

·IRS will process the tax return in June.

·In most cases, IRS DRT is available and an IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 2-3 weeks after the tax return has been processed by the IRS.

Has an amount owed and subsequent to submitting their tax return to the IRS, pays the full amount due

·Generally tax returns are accepted by the IRS within a day or two of the return having been electronicallyfiled with the IRS.

·In most cases, IRS DRT is available and an IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 3-4 weeks after the full payment is made.

·IRS will process the tax return in June.

·In most cases, IRS DRT is available and an IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 2-3 weeks after the tax return has been processed by the IRS.

At the time their tax return was submitted to the IRS, has an amount owed and has not paid in full.

·Generally tax returns are accepted by the IRS within a day or two of the return having been electronically filed with the IRS. However, IRS will not process the return until May.

·In most cases, IRS DRT is available and an IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 2-3 weeks after the return has been processed in May.

·IRS will process the tax return in June.

·In most cases, IRS DRT is available and an IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 2-3 weeks after the tax return has been processed by the IRS.


Tax filers can expect to receive their IRS transcript
If requested online - 5-10 business days after request is submitted
If requested by phone - 5-10 business days after request is submitted
If requested by paper (IRS Form 4506-T or IRS Form 4506T-EZ) - 30 calendar days from the time the IRS receives and processes the signed request.