How You Can Get Prior Year Tax Information from the IRS
IRS Tax Tip 2013-20, February 25, 2013
The IRS offers several different ways to get tax return information or a copy of your own tax return for prior years. Here are options to help you get the information you need.
- Tax Return Transcript. This shows most line items from your tax return as originally filed, along with any forms and schedules from your return. This transcript does not reflect any changes made to the return after you filed it. Tax return transcripts are free. After the IRS has processed a return, transcripts are available for the current tax year and the past three tax years.
- Tax Account Transcript. This shows any adjustments made by you or the IRS after filing your return. This transcript shows basic data, like marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income. Tax account transcripts are free, and are available after the IRS has processed the return for the current tax year and the past three tax years.
- Order a Transcript. You can request both transcript types online, by phone or by mail. To place your order online, go to IRS.gov and use the “Order a Transcript” tool. Order a transcript by phone at 800-908-9946. A recorded message will guide you through the process. You can also request your tax return transcript by mail by completing Form 4506T-EZ. Use Form 4506T to mail a request for your tax account transcript. You can get both forms online at IRS.gov.
- Tax Return Copies. Actual copies of your tax returns are generally available for the current tax year and as far back as six years. The fee for each copy you order is $57. To request a copy of your tax return, complete Form 4506, available on IRS.gov. Mail your request to the IRS office listed on the form for your area.
- Delivery Times. The turnaround time for online and phone orders is typically 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request. Allow 30 calendar days for delivery of a tax account transcript if you order by mail using Form 4506T-EZ or Form 4506T, and allow 60 days when ordering actual copies of your tax return by mail.
- More Information. The IRS website can help you decide which form you need. Visit IRS.gov , or call the IRS forms and publications order line at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Additional IRS Resources:
- Order a Transcript online tool
- Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Form (Note: this IRS.gov page also includes links to Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return and Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript)