Taxpayers who need their past tax return information can obtain it from the IRS. Here are nine things to know if you need copies of your federal tax return information.
1) There are two easy and convenient options for obtaining free copies of your federal tax return information -- tax return transcripts and tax account transcripts.
2) The IRS does not charge a fee for transcripts, which are available for the current year as well as the past three years.
3) A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. It does not reflect any changes you, your representative or the IRS made after the return was filed. In many cases, a return transcript will meet the requirements of lending institutions, such as those offering mortgages and student loans.
4) A tax account transcript shows any later adjustments either you or the IRS made after the tax return was filed. This transcript shows basic data -- including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income.
5) To request either transcript by phone, call 800-829-1040 and follow the prompts in the recorded message.
6) To request a tax return transcript through the mail, individual taxpayers should complete IRS Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript. Form 4506T-EZ is only for individuals who filed a Form 1040 series return. Businesses, partnerships and individuals who need transcript information from other forms or need a tax account transcript must use the Form 4506T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.
7) You should receive your tax return transcript within 10 working days from the time the IRS receives your request. Allow 30 calendar days for delivery of a tax account transcript.
8) If you still need an actual copy of a previously processed tax return, it will cost $57 per tax year and take much longer. Complete Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Form, and mail it to the IRS address listed on the form for your area. Please allow 60 days for actual copies of your return. Copies are generally available for the current year as well as the past six years.
9) Visit the IRS Web site, IRS.gov, to determine which form will meet your needs. Forms 4506, 4506T and 4506T-EZ can be found at IRS.gov or by calling the IRS forms and publications order line at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return (PDF 45.3K)
Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Form (PDF 42.3K)
Remember that all of the web page addresses for the official IRS website, IRS.gov, begin with http://www.irs.gov. Don' t be confused or misled by Internet sites that end in .com, .net, .org or other designations instead of .gov. The address of the official IRS governmental Web site is http://www.irs.gov/.