Verification Process

IRS Tax Transcripts

If an applicant is not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, or is eligible and chooses not to use it, then an IRS Tax Return Transcript must be requested and submitted to SMU.

Due to Department of Education rules, we are not permitted to accept copies of a person's Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ, except in the very rare case that the student or parent can provide proof that obtaining an IRS Tax Return Transcript was not possible. Please contact your financial aid advisor if you believe this is the case and they can assist you in completing the necessary steps.

Also, if you change your or your parents' tax information after using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, then an IRS Tax Return Transcript must be submitted in order to provide SMU with the most accurate data. 

If you have changed the tax info to remove Rollover portions of untaxed Pensions or IRA distributions, please contact your financial aid advisor and provide documentation supporting the Rollover status. 


Requesting Transcripts

The IRS.gov website has a new service called Get Transcript that allows tax filers to obtain an immediate PDF download of their prior tax return transcript.


  1. Click "Sign Up" to register on the site. 
  2. Enter your name and email, then click the button to retrieve a confirmation code
  3. A new page will appear. Make sure you keep this page open in your browser. Then check your email and enter the confirmation code on this same webpage.
  4. You will be prompted to enter your personal information. Make sure you enter this exactly as it appears on your tax form. For example this includes the way you entered your address information ("Drive" vs. "Dr.", or "Apt." vs. "#"). If the information doesn't match, you won't be able to access the service.
  5. Once you have authenticated, you will be able to download the PDF of your transcript and save it for your records.
  6. You can email the transcript as an attachment to FA.Verification@mail.smu.edu.

Please note that if you call the IRS to request a transcript, you will be directed to use the Get My Transcript  service. However, help agents will be able to assist you if you are experiencing difficulty using the services.

Important items to remember:

  • Signatures on transcripts are not required but encouraged.
  • Please make a copy for your records prior to sending to SMU.
  • If you are unable to use the Get My Transcript services and have to request one over the phone, please note that the IRS will only send the transcript directly to SMU if the Financial Aid fax number is given as the "recipient" fax number (214-768-3878 or 214-768-3997).
  • If you request a transcript using Form 4506 or 4506-T, Line 5 allows for a "3rd party recipient". If you enter SMU's mailing address here the transcript will be sent directly to SMU.
    Laura Lee Blanton Building
    Division of Enrollment Services - Financial Aid
    Financial Aid
    PO Box 750181
    Dallas, TX 75275-0181
  • Be sure to request a Tax Return Transcript and not a Tax Summary or a Tax Account Transcript, which do not contain the comprehensive tax data needed from the filer’s original Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ.