IRS Tax Return Transcript Instructions
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IRS Data Retrieval and Tax Return Transcript Instructions

Approximately 30% of FAFSA submissions are selected for a process called Verification. Students and parents of students selected for verification, who did not complete IRS Data Retrieval, are often required to submit IRS Tax Return Transcripts. Please note that a Tax Return Transcript is not a Tax Return; it is a separate document which you must retrieve from the IRS. There are two ways to request a Tax Return Transcript, but we encourage completing a correction to your FAFSA by using the IRS Data Retrieval tool (which was temporarily disabled, but is open again beginning with the 2018-2019 school year).

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to transfer IRS tax information directly into their FAFSA from the IRS Web site. This process can typically be completed when initially filling out the FAFSA. If it was not completed the first time, students can correct their FAFSA by following these instructions to use IRS Data Retrieval.

(Note: There are several scenarios in which you might not be given the option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, including if you are not eligible to use it.)

  1. Log back into the FAFSA.
  2. Open the FAFSA for the appropriate aid year.
  3. Select the link that says "Make a correction to my FAFSA."
  4. Navigate to the appropriate Financial Information section. Dependent students must complete this process for themselves if they filed taxes, as well as for their parent(s).
  5. Click Link To IRS.
  6. Enter your FSA ID. (Note: Students will not be asked to enter their FSA ID if they entered an FSA ID to begin their FAFSA.)
  7. Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS Web site.
  8. On the IRS Web site, enter the requested information exactly as it appears on your tax return.
  9. After the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display. Select the option to transfer your information from the IRS. Questions that are populated with that tax information will be marked with “Transferred from the IRS.”
  10. Navigate to the end of the FAFSA and click Sign & Submit. If you only save your FAFSA and do not submit it, it will not be transferred to APSU.
  11. Allow 3-5 business days for APSU to receive and load the corrected FAFSA.

Tax Return Transcript Online

  1. Go to
  2. Click “Get Transcript Online.”
  3. Select either "Create Account" for first time users or "Log In" for returning users.
  4. Follow directions to set up an account if you have not made one already.
  5. Select that you are requesting the transcript for Higher Education.
  6. Select the Tax Return Transcript for the tax year we are requesting.
  7. If the Tax Return Transcript successfully displays to you as a PDF, provide the Office of Student Financial Aid a copy for processing.

Tax Return Transcript by Mail

  1. Go to
  2. Click “Get Transcript by Mail.”
  3. Follow directions to request the transcript.
  4. Choose “Return Transcript” and select the Tax Year we are requesting. Click “Continue.”
  5. Allow 10 business days for the transcript to mail to you.
  6. Provide the Financial Aid Office a copy of your tax return transcript for processing.