FINANCIAL AID OFFICE

VERIFICATION

Below are common questions pertaining to IRS Tax Return Transcripts.  If your question is not answered or you need further clarification, please contact us. This page is also available in a printer-friendly handout. 
  1. How do I request a tax return transcript?
  2. What are the steps to request a transcript online?
  3. The IRS said the tax return transcript was unavailable. 
  4. What is the difference between a Tax Return Transcript and a Tax Account Transcript?
  5. Can I request multiple transcripts?
  6. My current address is different than my 2012 tax return address.
  7. I rolled over an IRA and it is showing on the FAFSA as untaxed income. How do I correct this?
  8. I filed a joint (married) tax return but now I’m separated.
  9. I was single when I filed taxes but I am married now. 
  10. I filed an amended tax return.
  11. My tax return has an official IRS stamp on it.  Do I still need to request a transcript?
  12. I am the victim of identity theft and cannot obtain a transcript.

Q #1: How do I request a tax return transcript?   top
Students and/or parents that are required to submit tax information must either use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when filing the FAFSA or request a Tax Return Transcript directly from the IRS.  Tax return transcripts can be requested online, through the U.S. Mail using Form 4506-T or by calling the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.  Once the tax return transcript is received, submit a copy to the Financial Aid Office.


Q #2: What are the steps to request a transcript online?  top

1.) Go to https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/irfof-tra/start.do

2.) Hit OK to the U.S. Government System is for authorized use only pop-up box

3.) Follow the on-screen prompts which will solicit information from the student and parent.  Immediately below are the three screens the student/parent will be taken to.  For more information on completing each screen, see steps 4-6.
               

4.)  Complete the Order a Transcript form (first image above)
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN) ITINs are issued to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
  • Date of birth (day, month, 4 digit year)
  • Street address  -  Use the address currently on file with the IRS. Generally this will be that address listed on the latest tax return you filed. However, if you've updated your address with the US Postal Service, the IRS should have the updated address.
  • Zip code  -  If you live in a country that has no postal code you will not be able to order transcripts online. Contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or outside the US at 267-941-1000 to order a transcript.
5.)  Select the Return Transcript (middle image above) for the Type of Transcript needed and hit continue.
  • Amended tax returns: you must submit the tax return transcript which contains the original tax filing information and the Form 1040-X that shows the changes.
  • An Account Transcript should only be requested if it is specifically asked for by the Financial Aid Office.
6.)  Select the Tax Year (third image above) and hit continue.  For the 2013-14 school year, Buffalo State needs the 2012 Return transcript, unless otherwise specified.

7.)  Receive the transcript.  If the IRS is able to make a successful match based on the information entered, the transcript will be delivered TO THE TAX FILER via the US mail in 5-10 days from the time the online request was successfully transmitted. If the IRS cannot match your information, refer to question 3 below.   Once you receive the transcripts, you must submit a copy to the Financial Aid Office.  The transcripts are double-sided; therefore, be sure to copy/fax/scan both sides before submitting.


Q #3: When I submitted the online form the IRS said the tax return transcript was unavailable. What should I do?  top
There is a processing delay between when taxes are filed and when the tax transcripts can be ordered.  Review the statements below to ensure you have waited the appropriate length of time and that you do not owe taxes. If none of the below conditions apply to you, you will need to call the IRS to request the transcript and/or troubleshoot.
    • Electronic tax return submissions take about 2 weeks before they are available to request a tax transcript.
    • Paper tax return submissions take about 6-8 weeks.
    • If you owe money to the IRS (not due a refund), there is a known processing delay by the IRS.
    • Pay your tax liability as soon as possible and then request a tax transcript. The IRS has indicated that tax returns for tax filers that owe a balance will not have a transcript available until May or later.
    • Verify you have entered the information correctly on the online form.

    Q #4: What is the difference between a tax return transcript and a Tax Account Transcript?  top
    • Tax Return Transcript - A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. It does not reflect any changes you, your representative, or the IRS made after the return was filed. In many cases, a return transcript will meet the requirements of lending institutions such as those offering mortgages and for applying for student loans.
    • Tax Account Transcript - A tax account transcript shows any payments and any later adjustments either you or the IRS made after the tax return was filed. This transcript shows basic data, including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income.
    Q #5: Can I request multiple IRS tax transcripts?  top
    It is recommended that you request one (1) transcript and make several copies. There can be processing delays in requesting multiple copies.


    Q #6: My current address is different than my 2012 tax return address. What should I do?  top
    Since the online submission sends the tax return transcript to the address on the tax return, you need to use Form 4506T or Form 4506-EZ or call the IRS to request your tax return transcript. You cannot use the online form.


    Q #7: I rolled over an IRA and it is showing on the FAFSA as untaxed income. How do I correct this since the IRS Data Retrieval is incorrect?  top
    Submit a copy of your 1099-R to the Financial Aid Office which shows that the money was in fact rolled over.


    Q #8: I filed a joint (married) tax return but now I’m separated. What do I submit?  top
    You must submit the tax transcript and all W-2 statements (both parties) for the year indicated. The Financial Aid Office can subsequently adjust the FAFSA to include only the pertinent income (student and custodial parent). Note that proof of separate residence will also be required (utility bills, signed leases, etc.).


    Q #9: I was single when I filed taxes but I am married now. What do I submit?  top
    You must submit your tax return transcript and your spouse’s tax transcript. W-2 statements for you and your spouse must also be included.


    Q #10: I filed an amended tax return. What do I need to submit?  top 
    You must submit a signed copy of the Form 1040-X that was sent to the IRS and the IRS Tax Return Transcript.  The Return Transcript will show the original filing information and the Form 1040-X will show the changes.

    Q #11: My tax return has an “official” IRS stamp on it. Do I still need to request a transcript?  top
    An IRS tax return that has an "official" stamp by the IRS is not a substitute for an IRS Tax Return Transcript. You must still request and submit the IRS tax return transcript.

    Q #12: I am the victim of identity theft and cannot obtain a copy of my transcript. What should I do?  top
    Victims of Identity Theft may submit a signed copy of their Form 1040, 1040A or 1040 EZ and one of the following: IRS Form 14039 (Identity Theft Affidavit); A Signed/Dated statement that you are the victim of identity theft and that the IRS is investigating the issue; or A copy of the police report filed by the tax filer.