General Instructions

Purpose of Form

Use Form 4506-A to request under section 6104:

  • A copy of an exempt or political organization's return, report, notice, or exemption application, or

  • An inspection of a return, report, notice, or exemption application at an IRS office.

You do not have to complete Form 4506-A to get copies of the following forms.

  • Form 8871, Political Organization Notice of Section 527 Status, and Form 8872, Political Organization Report of Contributions and Expenditures, are available for inspection and printing from the Internet. The website address for both forms is www.irs.gov/polorgs.

  • Exempt or political organizations must make their returns, reports, notices, and exempt applications available for public inspection. You can visit the organization to inspect the material instead of requesting it from the IRS. The organization may be able to mail the copies to you.

  • You may request images of Form 990-N (e-Postcard) filings at www.irs.gov/app/ePostcard.

  • If you want to determine if charitable contributions are deductible, use EO Select Check, www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Exempt-Organizations-Select-Check.

To see an organization’s current activities or financial data, you can use www.guidestar.org.

An organization, or its officers, may request a copy of the organization's own return on Form 4506-A. However, they will only receive the copy that is “Open for Public Inspection.” The publicly available copy will not include, for example, information that may identify a contributor and documents that were filed with the return, but are not open to public inspection. An organization, or its officers, may request a complete copy of the organization's own return by completing Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, and paying the applicable fee.

CD and DVD

The IRS can provide copies of exempt organization returns on CD and/or DVD. Requesters can order the complete set (for example, all Forms 990 and 990-EZ or all Forms 990-PF filed for a year) or a partial set by state or by month. If you are ordering a partial set on CD or DVD, indicate the format (Alchemy or raw), state(s), and month(s) you are ordering. Sample CD or DVD requests are not available for individual states. CDs and/or DVDs and sample CDs and/or DVDs are not available for individual exempt organizations. Complete information, including the cost, is available on the IRS website. Search Copies of Scanned EO Returns Available at www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Copies-of-Scanned-EO-Returns-Available.

Formats

Alchemy.   CDs and DVDs contain image files associated in an Alchemy database to simplify visual searching of the tax returns. All required Alchemy software is provided. This format is best for users who wish to examine returns visually. Individual state CDs and DVDs are only available in Alchemy format.

Raw.   CDs and DVDs contain image files in Tag Image File (TIF) format for returns selected for the month or quarter requested. This format is best for users who intend to process the image files through their data software.

How Much Will It Cost?

You may inspect a return, report, notice, or exemption application at an IRS office free of charge.

If you want a photocopy of a return, report, notice, or an exemption application, see the chart below.

Note.

The IRS will send you a bill for the photocopy cost. If your cost is over $250, we will ask for payment in advance.

IF you are. . . THEN the charge for paper copies is . . .
A commercial user $ .20 per page
An educational institution, media, non-commercial scientific institution, or all other requesters First 100 pages free, 
$ .20 per page thereafter

CD and/or DVD requests and sample CD and/or DVD requests must be prepaid. Please include your payment with your request. Search Copies of Scanned EO Returns Available at www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Copies-of-Scanned-EO-Returns-Available for the cost of CDs and/or DVDs and sample CDs and/or DVDs. A check or money order for the fee should be payable to “United States Treasury.

Where To File

Use the following chart to determine where to fax or mail (depending on the service needed) Form 4506-A.

IF you want . . . THEN file Form 4506-A  
with the . . .
To inspect a return, report, notice, or exemption application at an IRS office* Internal Revenue Service 
Disclosure Scanning Operation - Stop 93A 
P.O. Box 621506,  
Atlanta, GA 30362-3006
To inspect a return, report, notice, or exemption application at IRS National Headquarters Internal Revenue Service  
Attn: Freedom of Information Reading Room 
1111 Constitution Avenue NW 
Washington, DC 20224
A copy of an exemption application (includes all supporting documents) Internal Revenue Service 
Attn: Correspondence Unit 
P.O. Box 2508, Room 4024 
Cincinnati, OH 45201 
Fax no. 513-263-3434
A copy of a return, 
report, or notice
Internal Revenue Service 
RAIVS Unit MS: 6716 
Ogden, UT 84201 
Fax no. 801-620-7896

*The office handling your request will contact you to schedule an appointment when the item is available for inspection.

How Long Will It Take?

Generally, it may take up to 60 days for us to process your request.

Specific Instructions

Line 1

Exempt or political organization.   Enter the organization's official name under which exempt status was approved, address, and employer identification number. If you do not enter the official name, we may not be able to locate the requested form. Complete a separate Form 4506-A for each organization.

Line 2

Requester.   Enter the requester's name, address, phone number, and the name of a contact person.

Line 3

Category of requester.   Check the appropriate category of the requester. You must check a box.

Line 4

Reason for request.   To avoid being charged the commercial rate, all requesters except commercial users must provide a reason for requesting the records and explain how the records will be used.

Lines 5-9

For each applicable form, check the box(es) for the item(s) you are requesting. You may request more than one form. For each form requested, check either the copy, inspection, CD/DVD, or sample CD/DVD box and enter the specific tax year(s) or period(s) as indicated. If ordering a partial set on CD/DVD or sample CD/DVD, indicate the format, state(s), and month(s) requested. If ordering a sample CD/DVD, check the sample CD/DVD box, indicate the format, and write in the calendar year(s). Sample CD and DVD requests are not available for individual states. Individual state CDs and DVDs are only available in Alchemy format.

Incomplete requests will be rejected.

Note.

Tax returns are generally available only for 7 years from filing before they are destroyed in accordance with applicable provisions of law.


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