IRS Restores Tax Transcript Tool
The IRS has restored access to its online Get Transcript tool. This tool allows taxpayers to get copies of their federal income tax return transcripts online and by mail. If an applicant for federal student aid is unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer income and tax information into the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), they may be required to get a tax return transcript if their FAFSA is selected for verification. The IRS suspended access to the online tool on May 27, 2015, after hackers used it to obtain tax return transcripts for about 100,000 taxpayers.
The IRS restored the ability to obtain an online tax return transcript, after it implemented improvements to the security controls. In addition to providing their Social Security Number, date of birth, filing status and mailing address from the federal income tax return, as well as an email address, taxpayers must provide
- a mobile phone number registered to the taxpayer
- a credit card number or an account number from an auto loan, mortgage, home equity loan or HELOC
This information is used to authenticate the identity of the taxpayer. An authentication code will be sent by text to the cell phone and a confirmation code will be sent to the email address. Both codes are required to obtain an online tax return transcript.
If a taxpayer doesn’t have a mobile phone or loan account number, they will be unable to obtain an online tax return transcript. Instead, they will have to get a transcript by mail. The transcript by mail can be ordered through the Get Transcript tool or by calling 1-800-908-9946. This tax return transcript will be sent by mail to the address listed on the federal income tax return.
If the taxpayer has moved or needs the tax transcript sent to a different address, they will need to file IRS Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, by mail.
Be sure to get an IRS Tax Return Transcript, not an IRS Tax Account Transcript. FAFSA verification requires a tax return transcript, which lists the data elements from the taxpayer's federal income tax return.
The IRS Get a Transcript tool can also be used to obtain a verification of non-filing letter for taxpayers whose income was below the filing threshold.