How To Get Copies Of Your IRS Income Tax Return

Income tax return copies are often needed for major life events such as applying for a student loan, a car loan, a mortgage, or, you might have just lost your prior year income tax return and want a copy for your records. Regardless of your reason, you can get copies of your IRS income tax return fairly easily.

Request for Transcript of Tax Return

You can get a free transcript of your income tax return online or by mail using the Get Transcript service provided by the IRS. A transcript will show line-by-line income tax return information but will not provide you with a copy of the forms that you submitted to the IRS. To get a copy of your income tax return using the transcript service you will need the following:

  • Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN).
  • Date of birth.
  • Address from your latest income tax return.
  • Email address if requesting the transcript online.

To get a copy of your income tax return online you will need to register and confirm your email address. The benefit is that you can view, print, and download the transcript immediately after registering. Transcript copies requested by mail will arrive in 5 to 10 calendar days at the address the IRS has on file.

Form 4506: Request for Copy of Tax Return

To keep your financial records complete, you may wish to get an actual copy of your entire income tax return. The IRS may retain copies of your Form W-2, Form 1099, and related tax documents as attachments to your income tax return for the current and prior years. The only way to get actual copies of your Form W-2 and Form 1099 from the IRS is to order a copy of the entire return by using Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return (PDF).

Each Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, can be used to request up to eight years or periods of income tax returns. If you need more than eight years or periods, simply attach another Form 4506. You must submit a check or money order to the IRS (payable to "United States Treasury", see the form) which costs $50.00 for each return requested.

Filed Under: income tax