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. However, sometimes you need an exact copy of a previously filed and processed tax return with all attachments (including Form W-2). 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 the signature from the requesting spouse is required on the Form 4506 (PDF), Request for Copy of Tax Return. You should complete Form 4506 and mail it to the address listed in the instructions, along with a $50 fee for each tax return requested.

  • 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're 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.

To request a copy of a fraudulent return, when someone else used your name and social security number as a primary or secondary filer to file it, use Form 4506-F (PDF), Request for Copy of Fraudulent Tax Return. For more information, see the instructions in Form 4506-F and Instructions for Requesting Copy of Fraudulent Returns.

Transcript of Your Tax Return

We offer various transcript types free of charge. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and lending agencies for student loans and mortgages generally accept a tax return transcript as a substitute for a copy of your return.

You can go to the Get Transcript page to request your transcript now. You can also order tax return and account transcripts by calling 800-908-9946 and following the prompts in the recorded message, or by completing Form 4506-T (PDF), Request for Transcript of Tax Return, or Form 4506T-EZ (PDF), Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript, and mailing it to the address listed in the instructions. Form 4506T-EZ was created only for Form 1040 series tax return transcripts. Either form allows you to provide your consent to disclose the tax return information and have the transcripts mailed to a third party such as a mortgage institution. Allow 10 business days from when the IRS receives your request to receive your transcript.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: October 04, 2016