- A Tax Return Transcript must be obtained from the IRS and is different than a federal tax return.
- A Tax Return Transcript show most of the items from your tax return as it was originally filed. It does not reflect any changes made after the return was filed.
- A Tax Account Transcript shows basic information and any adjustments made after the tax return was filed.
If your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was selected for federal verification by the U.S. Department of Education, you will need to obtain tax information directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You will need to do this in addition to completing the Iowa Verification Form.
We can use federal income tax returns that you submit to our office to award financial aid. If you are awarded financial aid, you will receive an award notification; however, your financial aid funds will not disburse until we receive verification of income directly from the IRS.
To obtain verification of income from the IRS, you will need to either complete the FAFSA IRS Retrieval or submit a Tax Return Transcript to our office. A Tax Return Transcript must be obtained from the IRS and is different than the federal tax return you submit as part of the required documents to be awarded financial aid.
We have found the easiest way to obtain the IRS tax information is for you to update your FAFSA and request the IRS retrieval option.
If you filed your tax return electronically, you will need to wait approximately three weeks before the FAFSA IRS Retrieval option is available to you. If you mail a paper tax return to the IRS, you will need to wait approximately eight weeks.
You will be informed in Step 5 below if you are not eligible to use the FAFSA IRS retrieval option. You will then need to obtain a Tax Return Transcript. The FAFSA IRS retrieval cannot be used if the tax return filer:
- is married and filed their tax return as either head of household or married filing separately or
- filed an amended tax return.
If you filed an amended tax return, in addition to requesting the Tax Return Transcript, you will also need to request a Tax Account Transcript.
Completing the FAFSA IRS Retrieval
Call the FAFSA hotline at 800-433-3243 if you need assistance obtaining the FAFSA IRS Retrieval.
- On the www.fafsa.ed.gov web page, click on the green Login button in the Returning User? section.
- After logging onto the appropriate year FAFSA, select the Make FAFSA Corrections link located in the midsection of the screen.
- Once you are in the FAFSA corrections area, select the Financial Information tab at the top of the screen.
- Answer the questions presented. They will be prefilled with answers, so change them if necessary.
- If you are eligible to complete the FAFSA IRS Retrieval, you will be presented with the option to link to the IRS's website. If you are not eligible to complete the retrieval, follow the instructions below on how to obtain a Tax Return Transcript.
- Once you complete the IRS information, it will bring you back to your FAFSA.
- Scroll to the bottom of the FAFSA screen, click on next, and follow the directions.
- Make sure you submit the corrections and sign your FAFSA using your federal PIN.
- After you have completed the IRS retrieval, the Office of Student Financial Aid will receive a new FAFSA record in approximately one week.
Obtaining a Tax Return Transcript (and Tax Account Transcript, if needed)
- We have found the easiest and fastest way to obtain tax transcripts is via the IRS website.
- Click on the Get Transcript Online button
- If you do not already have an on-line account with the IRS, you will need to create an account by clicking on the Create an Account button.
- Follow the on-line instructions to immediately view and print your transcript.
- If you choose to obtain the tax transcript by mail, it will take five to ten days for you to receive the tax transcript(s) from the IRS.
- You can also obtain tax transcripts by calling the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.
- After you receive the tax transcript(s), write the student's name and UI ID number in the top right corner and submit it to the Office of Student Financial Aid as soon as possible.