Getting Prior Year Tax Information from the IRS

If you need to obtain certain prior year tax return information, it is possible to a copy of the actual processed return from the IRS. Often, however, the information you need may be contained in a tax transcript, which can also be obtained directly from the IRS.

Tax Return Transcript versus Tax Account Transcript

There are two types of tax transcripts: tax return transcript and tax account transcript.

A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. It does not, however, reflect any changes made after the return was filed.

On the other hand, a tax account transcript shows any later adjustments either you or the IRS made after the tax return was filed. However, a tax account transcript reveals only the most basic data, such as marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income, is included in the transcript.

Obtaining Transcripts

There are three ways to order either type of transcripts: on the phone (800-908-9946), online (the IRS website), and by mail. If you choose to obtain your tax transcript by mail, you need to figure out which form you need to file.

1. 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ tax return transcript: you will need to complete and mail Form 4506T-EZ.

2. Business Forms and Other Individual Forms: you will need to complete and mail Form Form 4506T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.

If you order online or by phone, you should receive your tax return transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives your request. Allow 30 calendar days for delivery of a tax account transcript if you order by mail using Form 4506T or Form 4506T-EZ.

The IRS does not charge a fee for transcripts, which are presently available for the current tax year as well as the past three tax years.

Obtaining Actual Copy of a Previously-Processed Tax Return

If you need an actual copy of a previously processed tax return, it will cost $57 for each tax year that you order. You need to complete and mail (to appropriate address) Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return. Copies are generally available for the current year as well as the past six years. The general wait period is about 60 days.

Contact Us

If you have any tax questions, contact Sherayzen Law Office to discuss your case with an experienced Minneapolis tax attorney.