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The U.S. Department of Education recently created an enhancement to the FAFSA filing process by allowing applicants and parents to retrieve their income and tax data directly from the IRS. This new process is called the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. We strongly recommend that parents and students select this option when filing their 2012-2013 FAFSA. This option will streamline and expedite the processing of your financial aid. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool also lowers the chances of being selected and needing to submit additional documents to our office.
Although the FAFSA may be filed any time after January 1st, the IRS Data Retrieval tool will be available after February 1, 2012. Tax data should be available through the IRS Data Retrieval process 1-2 weeks after electronically filing 2011 federal income tax return(s). If mailing tax return(s), it can take 6-8 weeks for data to be available through IRS Data Retrieval process.
Students and parents unable to file a federal tax return by March 1, 2012 (priority deadline), should submit the 2012-13 FAFSA using estimated tax information. They SHOULD return to the FAFSA website after filing their federal taxes and use Data Retrieval process to update tax information.
Students and parents are sometimes selected for verification either by the Department of Education or Methodist University (MU). During the verification process, MU will compare information from your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with copies of the IRS Tax Transcripts, W-2(s)/1099(s)/Schedule C, and/or any other requested documentation to ensure accuracy. If there are differences between your FAFSA and financial documents, MU will make the correction(s) to the FAFSA electronically.
IRS Tax Return Transcripts DO NOT NEED TO BE SIGNED by the tax filer. Applicants are encouraged to submit COPIES of their tax transcript (NOT THE ORIGINAL) in case they need to submit the tax transcript to more than one school. You may request the 2011 IRS Tax Transcripts, free of charge, from the IRS in one of three ways:
- Available on the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov
- In the Online Services section of the homepage click “Order a Tax Return or Account Transcript”
- Click “Order a Transcript”
- Enter the tax filer’s Social Security Number, date of birth, street address, and zip or postal code. 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.
- Click “Continue”
- In the Type of Transcript field, select “Return Transcript” and in the Tax Year field, select “2011”.
- If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address included in their online request, within 5 to 10 days from the time the on-line request was successfully transmitted to the IRS.
- IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested online cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.
- 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 and then enter “2011”.
- 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.
- IRS Tax Return Transcript Request Process
- Page 2
- 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 4506T-EZ
- 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.
- Institutions are responsible for notifying aid applicants whether to list the institution as the third party to receive the Transcript or not. Some institutions may have difficulty matching a parent’s incoming IRS Tax Return Transcript to the aid applicant, as the two names may be different.
- On line 6, enter “2011” to receive IRS tax information for the 2011 tax year that is required for the 2012-2013 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.
- Tax filers can expect to receive their transcript within 5 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.