11 Tips to Get Transcript of your Previous Tax Return

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Sometimes you need a transcript of your federal tax return because you have lost your copy, you want to apply for a loan, to calculate your tax withholding or some other legal reason. If you need such a transcript, there are some things you should remember.  Click here to read or watch more IRS Help resources.

1. There are two types of transcripts you can request for – a tax return transcript, which is the original tax submission you made or a tax account transcript which is the later changes made to your tax filing after submission. You can obtain a transcript of your tax return for the current or any of the past 3 tax years.

2. You can request a transcript of your tax return by phone, email or online.

3. A tax return transcript will not show any changes made to your tax submission after filing. It will only show line items from your tax return in its original submission, including any accompanying forms and schedules.

4. On the other hand, a tax account transcript will show the subsequent changes made by you or the IRS after your tax submission was made. This transcript will show your basic data, including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income.

5. To obtain either or both types of transcripts online, visit www.irs.gov and click on Order A Transcript. To order by phone, call 800-908-9946 and follow the instructions in the recorded message.

6. Forms 4506, 4506T and 4506T-EZ used for the purpose of obtaining transcripts or copies of your previous tax returns. They are available at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM 800-829-3676. Here are how they are each used:

7. If you want to request your tax return transcript (Form 1040, 1040EZ or 1040A) through the mail, you have to fill up IRS Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript.

8. If you need transcript information from other forms or need a tax account transcript by mail, you must complete Form 4506T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.

9. An online or phone request will take your tax return transcript five to 10 days for the IRS to process. If your request a tax account transcript by mail, give it 30 calendar days to arrive.

10. An actual copy of a previously processed tax return will cost $57 for each tax year you order. To obtain a copy, you should fill in 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 past six years. It will take about 60 days for you to obtain actual copies of your tax return.

11. You may not have to pay the $57 if you are in an area that is declared a federal disaster by the President. To find out more information, visit www.irs.gov and type in the keyword “disaster”.

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