IRS Announces Changes to Tax Transcript Retrieval Processes

By Megan Walter, Policy & Federal Relations Staff

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced earlier this week, that it would no longer be faxing or physically mailing tax transcripts to certain requestors in an effort to further protect sensitive taxpayer information.

Starting at the end of this month, the IRS will stop all faxing of tax transcripts, both individual and business. Private citizens, and third parties including tax professionals, will no longer be able to receive tax transcripts through the fax service. Individuals requesting their tax transcripts are recommended to use the “Get Transcript Online” or “Get Transcript by Mail” services.

Further, effective July 1st of this year, tax filers will no longer be able to request tax transcripts through Forms 4506, 4506-T and 4506T-EZ be sent directly to third parties. Individual tax filers will still be able to use these forms to request their own tax transcripts to share with a third party if they choose to.

The IRS does allow other alternatives for third parties, including institutions of higher education, who currently use these forms to obtain income information for verification of student FAFSA data. Schools can contract with existing participants or become a participant themselves of The Income Verification Express Service (IVES). IVES allows participants, after being properly authorized, to order tax transcripts on the behalf of students who authorize their information to be accessed. Each transcript requested has a $2 charge.

The IRS has confirmed neither of these changes will have any effect on the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) currently part of the FAFSA process.

The Department of Education (ED) released an Electronic Announcement earlier this year that allowed for the use of copies of tax returns and signed statements of Verification of Non-filing (VONF) for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 award years. ED announced in the Federal Register on May 24 that institutions will be allowed to continue to accept copies of tax returns and signed statements of Verification of Non-filing (VONF) for the 2020-21 award year.


Publication Date: 6/7/2019

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