Submitted By: Carlos
Answered: September 16, 2014 8:30 am

I’m completing my financial aid form and need my parents’ tax return. Can I get a copy?

Only a taxpayer, or a representative with a taxpayer’s permission, can obtain copies of previously filed tax returns. Ask your parents to take action:

  • They can request a free copy of a transcript containing key tax information (if this is enough for completing your financial aid form, it’s the better way to go), which can be done online at This usually takes 2 to 3 weeks.
  • They can file Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, to ask for a photocopy of their actual return, and mail it to the IRS with a processing fee of $57 (the address is in the instructions to the form). It usually takes 2 months to receive the copy.

Note: If you are at least 18 years old, your parents can give you power of attorney in tax matters and then you can request the return on their behalf. They’ll have to sign IRS Form 2848 and specify the year for which your authority applies.

Tax Glossary

Inter vivos or lifetime trust

A trust created during the lifetime of the person who created the trust. If irrevocable, income on the trust principal is generally shifted to the trust beneficiaries.

More terms