How do I request a copy of my income tax return for last year?
There are two ways to obtain information that you listed on an income tax return that was filed with the IRS:
- You can request a photocopy of the actual return that you filed with the IRS; The photocopy of the income tax return would include the tax form itself, as well as all schedules that you submitted along with copies of the Forms W-2 that were attached to the return.
- You can obtain a computer transcript of the information that was listed on the tax return that was filed with the IRS. The computer transcript will give you a line by line listing of the return information from the form that was filed for the tax year requested.
If you need an exact copy of a previously filed and processed return, or actual copies of Form W-2, you must complete Form 4506 (PDF), Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form. There is a $23.00 fee for copies of your previously filed tax forms and all attachments (including Form(s) W-2) for each tax period requested and you should allow 60 calendar days for a response. There is no charge for tax return transcripts or Forms W-2 information. Tax forms filed 6 or more years ago may not be available for making copies. However, "Tax Account Information" (see below) is generally still available for these periods.
Form 4506 can also be used to request W-2 information only. You may receive certain federal tax information that was reported by the employer on the Form W-2 free of charge. Current year W-2 information might not be available in all situations.
A "Tax Return Transcript" is available only for returns in the 1040 series (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, etc.). It shows line item entries from the original income tax return that you filed. In most cases, a transcript will meet the requirements for lending institutions for mortgage verification purposes.
These transcripts are also widely accepted for financial aid and student loan purposes. The transcripts can be ordered on a Form 4506. There is no charge for the transcripts and you should receive them within about 10 business days from the time that we receive your request. If you need the information sooner, the tax return transcript and certain W-2 information can be received by visiting an IRS office (with proper ID) or by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
If you need a "statement" of your tax account that shows changes that you or the IRS made to the original return filed, you must request "Tax Account Information" which shows payments and tax adjustments on your account. You can request the "Tax Account Information" by writing to, or visiting an IRS office or by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. You cannot use Form 4506 to request "Tax Account Information".
Form 4506 or a "Tax Return Transcript" can also be used to get proof from the IRS that you did not file an income tax return for a particular tax year. Forms can be downloaded at Forms & Pubs or ordered by calling 1-800-829-1040.