The IRS’ web site, www.irs.gov can often be confusing because there is so much information on it. Below, is the IRS’ instructions on how to obtain transcripts and/or copies of your tax returns. In our tax law practice we are constantly getting copies of tax transcripts from the IRS. If you don’t have special software (like we do) that makes is fast and easy, you can follow the instructions below.
Tax Return vs. Tax Account Transcript
A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. In most cases, your transcript includes all the information a lender or government agency needs. It does not show any changes you, your representative or we made after you filed. Ask your financial institution to be sure a return transcript will meet their requirements. The tax return transcript is generally available for the current and past three years.
We can also provide a tax account transcript. The tax account transcript, which is also free, shows basic data from your return, including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income. It also includes any adjustments you or we made after you filed your return. Like the tax return transcript, the tax account transcript is generally available for the current and past three years.
Order Your Transcript
You can now order your transcript(s) using our new Order a Transcript application. Or you can fill out our new Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcripts, (Form 4506T-EZ). This streamlined form will help you get your return information quickly and easily. If you or your business needs information from other IRS forms, such as Form W-2 or Form 1099, you can use Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, to get it. You can download these forms from the links on the right side of this page or order them from our self-service line at 1-800-908-9946. If you order form(s) by phone, follow the prompts and select 3, then 1 to quickly complete your order. Once you get your transcript order form, complete it, sign it and send it to the address listed in the instructions. Either way, you can expect to get your transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time we receive your signed request.
Order a Copy of Your Tax Return
If you need an exact copy of a previously filed and processed tax return and all attachments (including Form W-2), you should complete Form 4506 (PDF), Request for Copy of Tax Return. Mail the form to the address in the instructions, along with a $57.00 fee for each tax year requested. Make your check or money order payable to the “United States Treasury.” Copies are generally available for returns filed in the current and past six years. Copies of jointly filed tax returns may be requested by either spouse and only one signature is required. Allow 60 calendar days to receive your copies.