IRS Offers Help to Students, Families to Get Tax Information for Student Financial Aid Applications

Getting Your 2021 Tax Return Information For the 2023–24 FAFSA

If you’re filing a 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, you must use federal tax information from your 2021 tax return. You can do this by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) or by referring to a copy of your 2021 tax return. Always retain a copy of your tax return, either electronically or on paper, and keep it in a secure place.

Alert: DO NOT use the IRS DRT if any of the following exceptions apply to you:

  1. You filed your 2021 tax return reporting the full amount of unemployment compensation and didn’t exclude any of this amount from your income as authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. Instead, review the unemployment exclusion FAQ.
  2. You used the Child Tax Credit Non-Filer Sign-up Tool in 2021 and later filed a paper tax return to report income. Instead, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to obtain a transcript.

If the above exceptions do not apply, you may use the IRS DRT.

If you need a transcript of your tax return, here are some options:

  1. Download your tax transcript at Get Transcript Online.  Review the identity authentication requirements before attempting to register.
  2. Use Get Transcript by Mail and a transcript will be mailed to the address we have on file for you within five to ten calendar days.
  3. Call our automated line at 800-908-9946 and a transcript will be mailed to the address we have on file for you within five to ten calendar days.
  4. Submit Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, by mail or fax. Most transcript requests are processed within ten business days and then mailed.

If you need a copy of the complete tax return you submitted, here are some options:

  1. Access the tax software product used to prepare and file your 2021 return to download/print a copy.
  2. Contact the tax preparer who filed your 2021 return.
  3. Submit Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, by mail. Refer to the form for applicable fee(s) and processing timeframes.