Getting the Tax Return Transcripts from the IRS

Best Option: IRS Data Retrieval

Go to, log in to the student’s FAFSA record, select “Make FAFSA Corrections”, and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form. From there follow the instructions to determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer the IRS income tax information into the student’s FAFSA.

Second Option: Receive Tax Transcript Online by PDF or Mail

To order your tax transcript online:

  1. Go to the IRS website
  2. Select the link "Get your tax record"
  3. Choose the Option that says “Get transcript online” or “Get a tax transcript by mail ”
  4. Create or sign into your account

To use this tool, the user must have access to a valid email address, a text-enabled phone (pay-as-you-go plans cannot be used) in the users name, and specific financial account numbers (such as a credit card number or an account number for a home mortgage or auto loan). This process will not result in any charges to the card or financial account.

When you are filling out your information make sure it is the same information that you used to file your taxes.

Third Option: Order Tax Transcript by Phone

To obtain an IRS tax return transcript by phone, please call 1-800-908-9946.

Fourth Option: Connecting to an IRS Representative

This is the new alternative procedure for requesting the IRS Tax Return Transcripts as of July 2016. The new steps:

  1. Dial 800-829-1040
  2. Dial 1 for English
  3. Dial 2 for information about your personal taxes
  4. Dial 0 once per second until it transfers you
  5. When a representative answers, tell them only what department you need to be transferred to. Nothing more. Be nice to this person. They probably get abused on the phone all day, and they are the ones who will grant you access to who you need.

You will need to ask to be transferred to the tax return transcript department and specify if you would like it mailed or faxed to you.

At this point, one of 2 things will happen:

  1. A real human operator will answer, and you will get transferred and be told by an automated system that you will have to wait, and the wait time (expect to wait 15 to 60 minutes)
  2. You will get a recording that says you will have to wait, call back later, or call tomorrow

If you get the recording that says call back later or tomorrow, do not be discouraged. Keep repeating the process starting over at step 1 until it goes through.

Make sure you order the “IRS tax return transcript” and not the “IRS tax account transcript”