How to get a copy of your income tax return
By Jonathan Weber, Tax-Rates.org
If you need a copy of your federal income tax return for any reason, you can request one for free from the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS Order A Transcript service can provide you with two types of basic tax transcripts:
- Tax Return Transcript – Your Tax Return Transcript includes can copies of your 1040 and most of the add-on schedules filed with that year’s tax return. You should request a tax return transcript if you need a full copy of your tax documentation, which may be necessary if you lose your records or need to provide a copy of your tax return to a third party like a government agency or your mortgage company.
- Tax Account Receipt – The IRS can also provide you with a Tax Account Receipt, which is a simple document including basic information about your tax account like your adjusted gross income and taxable income. This transcript can be useful for applications that require your tax status, like the Department of Education’s FAFSA application.
You can request a transcript or a receipt for the current tax year, or for any of the last three tax years. There is no fee for either a transcript or a receipt. This article will show you, step by step, how to order a Tax Account Receipt. Ordering a Tax Return Transcript follows most of the same steps.
CONTENTSREQUEST DOCUMENTS ONLINE
- Visit the official IRS Web site at www.irs.gov
- In the Tools section of the homepage, click “Order a Return or Account Transcript”
- Chose item #3, “Order a Transcript”
- Enter your Social Security Number, date of birth, street address, and zip code. If you are requesting a jointly filed return, you will need to enter the information of the primary tax filer here
- Click “Continue”
- In the Type of Transcript field, select “Account Transcript” or “Tax Return Transcript” and in the Tax Year field, select “2012″ or the year you would like to request
- If the information you submitted is valid, you can
expect to receive a paper copy of your requested transcript within 5-10 days
REQUEST DOCUMENTS OVER THE TELEPHONE
- Call the IRS document hotline at 1-800-908-9946
- Follow the automated prompts and enter the SSN of the primary filer, your address as on file with the IRS, and any additional information requested
- Select “Option 4″ if you want to request an IRS Tax Account Transcript and then enter “2012″ (or the tax return year you need)
- If the information you submitted is valid, you can expect to receive a paper copy of your requested transcript within 5-10 days
REQUEST DOCUMENTS USING IRS FORM 4506-T
- If you need to request an account transcript, use IRS Form 4506-T. Otherwise, use IRS Form 4506T-EZ
- Download 4506T-EZ at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf
- Complete lines 1-4, following the instructions on page 2 of the form, with your personal information.
- Line 5 allows you to have your IRS Tax Account Transcript or Tax Return Transcript mailed directly to a third party by the IRS (this option is not available online and over the phone)
- On Line 6 of Form 4506-T, enter the tax forms you need a copy of (ex. “1040″)
- Choose either Box A (Tax Return Transcript) or Box B (Account Transcript)
- On Line 9 of Form 4506-T, enter the year for which you are requesting your transcript
- Sign and date the form and enter your telephone number. Only one signature is required for a joint return.
- Mail or fax the completed IRS Form 4506-T to the appropriate location provided on page 2 of Form 4506-.
- If the information you submitted is valid, you can expect to receive a paper copy of your requested transcript within 30 days. If the information included on the form is invalid, the IRS will notify you
EXAMPLE TAX ACCOUNT TRANSCRIPT
Tax return transcripts are commonly used for proof of income and proof of tax status. Below is an example of a certified IRS tax return receipt.
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