When a FAFSA is selected for verification, students and parents who filed tax returns must verify tax information in one of three ways: the IRS data retrieval tool on the FAFSA, IRS tax return transcripts, or signed copies of federal tax returns. Signed federal tax returns were previously not acceptable to satisfy the income verification requirement, but the Department of Education has deemed these to be acceptable documentation as of January 9, 2019. Families that are not able to use the IRS data retrieval tool may find that submitting a signed federal tax return is easier than obtaining an IRS tax return transcript.

If you cannot provide a signed federal tax return, or if you prefer to provide an IRS tax return transcript, please review the following information:

  • How do I order my tax return transcripts?
    • Visit www.IRS.gov to download your tax return transcripts or request them by mail. The IRS website is usually the quickest way to obtain tax return transcripts.
    • Request tax return transcripts via a paper form, IRS Form 4506T-EZ. The second page contains information about mailing or faxing the form to the IRS.
    • Order tax return transcripts by phone at 800-908-9946.
  • How do I send my transcripts to the financial aid office?
    • As of September 2018, IRS tax return transcripts redact most identifying information like name, address, and Social Security number. When sending tax return transcripts to the financial aid office, please write the student’s name and Macalester ID number on the transcript; otherwise, we may not know who the transcript is for. You can send us transcripts via any of the methods on our Contact page, but we recommend the secure file transfer option.
    • If completing IRS Form 4506T-EZ, you can use line 5a to request the transcript be mailed directly to Macalester. If using this method, please put the student’s Macalester ID in line 5b (Customer file number). The IRS will include this number on the tax return transcript, which will allow us to match it with the student’s record. Otherwise, the transcript will be sent to us with identifying information redacted, and we will not know who the transcript is for.
  • If I don’t have a copy of my tax return transcript, will a copy of my tax return be sufficient?
    Yes, as long as the tax return is signed. Signed federal tax returns were previously not acceptable to satisfy the income verification requirement, but the Department of Education has deemed these to be acceptable documentation as of January 9, 2019.
  • I tried to order my tax return transcripts, but wasn’t able to access my information. Now what?
    Check the Social Security Number that you are using when attempting to access your tax information. It is recommended that you use the primary filer’s (person listed first on the tax return) SSN and name to access your tax return transcripts. Make sure to input all requested information like name and address exactly as it appears on your tax return.