Posted On: August 4, 2012 by Mitchell A. Port

How To Get A Copy Of Your Tax Return From The IRS

How do I request a copy of my tax return for last year?

It is easy to get a copy of an old tax return.

If you need an exact copy of a previously filed and processed return and all attachments (including Form W-2 (PDF)), you must complete Form 4506 (PDF), Request for Copy of Tax Return, and mail it to the IRS. You will need to include a $57.00 check made payable to "U.S. Treasury". The fee may be waived if you reside in an official disaster area as declared by the President. It may take the IRS 60 days to process your request and mail your tax return copy or copies.

You can also order a transcript online at this link.

Or, you can simply call the Internal Revenue Service to place your order: 800.908.9946 or at 800-829-1040.

In cases where an exact copy of the return is not needed, tax return and transcripts may be ordered.

A transcript is a computer-generated printout which summarizes your old tax return and includes most of the line items from the return, including any accompanying forms and schedules. The transcript does not show any changes or amendments you or the IRS may have made after your return was accepted by the IRS.

There is no charge for the transcript and you should receive it in 10 business days from the time the Internal Revenue Service receives your request.

Tax return transcripts are generally available for the current and past three years.

In most cases, a tax return transcript will meet the requirements for lending institutions for mortgage verification purposes.

The tax return transcript shows most line items contained on the return as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules.

If you need a statement of your tax account which shows changes that you or the IRS made after the original return was filed, you must request a "Tax Account Transcript."

This transcript shows basic data including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income, taxable income, payments and adjustments made on your account.

As a tax attorney, I often get a copy of a transcript to have what the IRS has for my client. If you have a tax problem and want help fixing it, call Mitchell A. Port at 310.559.5259.