Tax transcript tips for those filing a FAFSA for the 2019-2020 college semesters

When filling out financial aid applications, students and families may need to get tax information to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available to use with the 2019‒2020 FAFSA Form. This tool is the fastest, most accurate way to input tax return information into the FAFSA form.

Students and parents who are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool can access it from within the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Here is some information for applicants to help get tax return information for the FAFSA form.

  • Applicants filing a 2019-20 FAFSA must use data from their 2017 tax returns.
  • Taxpayers should always keep a copy of their tax return. Whether they keep it electronically or on paper, they should keep it in a secure place.

Here are some options for taxpayers who did not keep a copy of their tax return. They can:

  • Access the tax software product used to prepare and file their 2017 return. They may be able to access their account to download and print a copy.
  • Contact the tax preparer or provider who filed their 2017 return.
  • Download their tax transcript at Get Transcript Online. They should remember to review the identity authentication requirements for Secure Access before attempting to register.
  • Use Get Transcript by Mail. The IRS will mail a transcript to the address on their return within five to 10 days.
  • Call the IRS’s automated line at 800-908-9946 to order a transcript by mail.
  • Taxpayers who filed an amended tax return, Form 1040X, should use the adjusted gross income and earned income listed on their revised tax return.

Finally, here’s some information about getting alternative documentation for IDR applications.

  • IRS Data Retrieval plan applicants must submit alternative documentation of income.
  • The applicants submit this documentation to their federal loan servicers after completing and submitting the online IDR application.
  • The process for submitting the alternative documentation of income is explained to borrowers as part of the online IDR application.
  • Alternative documentation of income usually consists of copies of pay stubs or most recently filed tax returns.

More information:
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*This message was distributed by IRS Tax Tips, an IRS e-mail service. For more information on federal taxes please visit

Tax Planning for 2019 is here!

You can take the mystery out of your client’s future tax return today; using our Tax Planning Tool built into Wintax.

Today we want to make you aware of one of our powerful tools called “Tax Planning”. This is a tool that is embedded inside your program so there is nothing to add or install. Simply make sure your Wintax program is up to date and you are ready to use it.

The Tax Planning tool estimates what your client’s tax return may look like next year based on the new 2019 tax rate schedule, standard deduction increases, and a few other inflation items that have been published. More details will be added as we receive additional published tax law through the IRS provided forms and publications.

To use it, simply recall a client and go to the “Summary” page of the tax return and select option “[29] Tax Planning”.

This will open the main Tax Planning page. The program allows you three different tax planning models. Select which model you would like to work on and enter a description if desired. Some clients may just want a quick estimate of what their taxes may look like next year and some may want to know what that tax profile will look like if they sell a rental or lose a dependent. Whatever the case may be, the flow and procedure is basically the same.

1. First, the program will make a copy of the existing tax return and use it for its model. Running tax planning is completely non-destructive to the original or real tax return.

2. After the model is selected and labeled, access the applicable areas of the program using the buttons on the left side of the tax planning page. If you need to change a filing status, or add/delete a dependent select “[40] Basic Information”. To make changes to the actual tax return numbers, access the applicable forms and or schedules by either selecting “[10] Forms/Schedules” or “[11] 1040 Line Input”.

You will note that as you make tax planning changes, the program will keep bringing you back to the “Tax Planning” page instead of the “Summary” page. This is because you are currently in the tax planning mode which is only working with the copy of the tax return and is not affecting the original tax return at all.

3. Once you are finished with this model’s adjustments then you are ready to print or preview either the smaller “Display Summary” or the more extensive “Detail Summary” report. Both of these reports have three columns that show the current year numbers, the projected numbers for next year, and the net change/difference between the two. Both of these reports do a comparison between the data on the original tax return, and the tax planning copy of that tax return with the adjusted rates and deductions currently available.

Display Summary Report

Detail Summary Report

4. Once you are finished running your tax planning models for that client’s tax return simply select “[41] Exit Tax Planning”. The program will close your tax planning tool and take you back to the original tax return “Summary” page. Be careful not to accidently make unwanted changes once you are back to the original tax return as you are no longer in “Tax Planning” mode.

We hope that you find this tool beneficial to your tax practice. Please check out our videosnews, and blogpages for other great tips and information.


Taxware Systems has been developing tax and accounting software since 1979. Feature for feature, Taxware’s programs are the fastest professional tax preparation system on the market.

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Taxpayers have the right to appeal an IRS decision

A taxpayer might at some point see the IRS make a decision about their taxes. If the taxpayer disagrees with this decision, they have the right to appeal it. The right to appeal an IRS decision in an independent forum is one of 10 basic rights known collectively as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

Here are some facts taxpayers should know about the right to appeal an IRS decision:

  • Taxpayers have the right to a fair administrative appeal of most IRS decisions.
  • There is an independent office called the IRS Office of Appeals. This office is separate from the IRS office that first reviewed the case.
  • Generally, the Office of Appeals will not discuss a case with the IRS.
  • Taxpayers also have the right to receive the Office of Appeals’ decision in writing.
  • Taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court.
  • Your Appeal Rights and How to Prepare a Protest if You Don’t Agree is a publication that explains how a taxpayer can appeal a tax case when they disagree with the IRS’s findings.
  • If the IRS sends a notice proposing that the taxpayer owes more money, the taxpayer may want to dispute it. If so, the taxpayer may file a petition with the United States Tax Court.
  • Some taxpayers may have a claim for a refund. These taxpayers may take their case to their United States District Court or to the United States Court of Federal Claims. Generally, the taxpayer must file this claim two years from the date of the IRS notice denying the taxpayer’s refund.



*This message was distributed by IRS Tax Tips, an IRS e-mail service. For more information on federal taxes please visit