Topic 156 - Copy or Transcript of Your Tax Return – How to Get One

Copy of Your Tax Return

There are different ways to obtain tax return information. Most requests can be satisfied with a computer printout of your return information called a transcript. There are times when you need an exact copy of a previously filed and processed tax return with all attachments (including Form W-2). In this case, you should complete Form 4506 (PDF), Request for Copy of Tax Return, and mail it to the address listed in the instructions, along with a $50.00 fee for each tax return requested. Copies are generally available for returns filed for the current and past six years. On jointly filed tax returns, either spouse may request a copy and only one signature is required.

  • Make your check or money order payable to the United States Treasury
  • Enter your SSN, ITIN or EIN and "Form 4506 request" on your check or money order
  • Allow 75 calendar days for us to process your request

If you are a taxpayer impacted by a federally declared disaster, the IRS waives the usual fees and expedites requests for copies of tax returns for people who need them to apply for benefits or to file amended returns claiming disaster-related losses. For additional information, refer to Topic 107 or call the IRS Disaster Assistance Hotline at 866-562-5227.

Transcript of Your Tax Return

We offer several transcript types free of charge. You can go to the Get Transcript page on IRS.gov to request yours now. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and lending agencies for student loans and mortgages generally accept return transcripts as a substitute for a copy of your return.

You can also order return and account transcripts by calling 800-908-9946 and following the prompts in the recorded message, or by completing and mailing a request for a transcript to the address listed in the instructions for Form 4506-T (PDF), Request for Transcript of Tax Return, or Form 4506T-EZ (PDF), Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript. The IRS has created Form 4506T-EZ only for Form 1040 series tax return transcripts. The IRS created this streamlined form to help those taxpayers trying to obtain, modify or refinance a home mortgage. You can opt to have transcripts mailed to a third party, such as a mortgage institution, if you use one of these forms and provide consent for the disclosure.

Forms are available on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-908-9946).

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: June 09, 2015