There are many reasons you may need a copy of your tax return information, such as applying for a student loan, a home mortgage or a credit card. If you do not have a copy, you can get a free transcript from the IRS online or by mail.
Transcripts are available for the most current tax year after the IRS has processed the return. You can also get them for the past three tax years.
- Order online - Use the Get Transcript Online tool available on IRS.gov. You can use this tool to confirm your identity and immediately view and print copies of your transcript in a single session. The tool is available for five types of tax records: tax account transcript, tax return transcript, record of account, wage and income and verification of non-filing.
- Order by mail - Use the Get Transcript by Mail online option on IRS.gov or complete and mail Form 4506T-EZ to get your tax return transcript. Use Form 4506-T to request your tax account transcript by mail.
Before you order your transcript, figure out which you need: a tax return transcript or a tax account transcript:
- A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return just as you filed it. It also includes forms and schedules you filed. But it doesn't reflect changes made to the return after you filed. In most cases, your tax return transcript will have all the information a lender or other agency needs.
- A tax account transcript shows any adjustments made by you or the IRS after you filed your return. It shows basic data, such as marital status, type of return, adjusted gross income and taxable income.
When you access Get Transcript by Mail the IRS suggests the type of transcript you need based on the reason you provide. For Get Transcript by Mail, you must decide which available transcript type best meets your needs.
Actual copies of your tax returns are also generally available for the current tax year and as far back as six years. The fee per copy is $50. Complete Form 4506 and mail it to the IRS office listed on the form for your area to request a copy of your tax return. Delivery times for online orders typically take five to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request. You should allow 30 days to receive a transcript ordered by mail and 75 days for copies of your tax return.
For more information about IRS transcripts, see Transcript FAQs.