There are many reasons to keep copies of your federal tax return. For example you may need the information when applying for a student loan or a mortgage. But if you haven’t kept past returns or can’t seem to find one the IRS can provide you with a copy or give you a transcript of the information you are looking for. Here’s what a transcript is and how to get the one when you need it:
- A free document that includes all of the information you need concerning your past taxes from the current year and up to the past three years.
- Shows most line items from the tax return you originally filed.
- Includes items from any accompanying forms and schedules you filed.
- Does not reflect changes made after you filed the original.
- Provides information on marital status type of return filed adjusted gross income and taxable income.
- To receive a transcript by web phone or mail request a transcript online by visiting IRS.gov and using the Order a Transcript tool. To order by phone call 800.908.9946 and follow the prompts.
- To request a 1040 1040A or 1040EZ transcript by mail or fax complete Form 4506T-EZ Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript. Businesses and individuals who need a tax account transcript should use Form 4506-T Request for Transcript of Tax Return.
- If you plan to order online or by phone transcripts should be received within five to 10 calendar days. Allow 30 days for delivery of a tax account transcript if you order by mail.
- If you need an actual physical copy of a previously filed and processed tax return it will cost $50 for each tax year. Complete Form 4506 Request for Copy of Tax Return and mail it to the IRS address listed on the form for your area. Copies are generally available for the current year and the past six years. Allow 60 days for delivery.
- Forms 4506 4506T and 4506T-EZ are available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).