What is a tax transcript?
What is a tax transcript, and how can you obtain one? IRS tax transcripts are summary documents of your tax return information, and they’re often used as proof of income when applying for loans. You may also use a tax transcript when determining the amount of estimated taxes that you might owe in the future. If you’re completing financial aid documents, such as the FAFSA, you will likely need to request a tax transcript if you don’t have a copy of your return already.
How can I get a tax transcript?
You can obtain a tax transcript from the IRS through various methods: online, over the phone, and through a mail request.
To request a tax transcript online, visit the IRS Get Transcript page and create an account if you don’t already have one. To create an account you will need a photo ID. Obtaining your tax transcript online is the fastest way to get your transcript, and you can view, print, and download it directly from the portal. You will also be able to use other IRS online services when you have an online account. This service is only for individual use – so a business can not log in to obtain your transcript on your behalf.
If you would rather request your transcript by phone, you’ll have to call 1-800-908-9946 to use the automated IRS phone system to request your transcript. In order to request a transcript by phone, you will need the mailing address from your most recent return.
You may also request a transcript by mail by visiting the IRS online transcript mail request. For this option, you’ll need your Social Security number or Individual Tax ID number, Date of Birth, and your mailing address. You can also print IRS form 4506-T or IRS form 4506-T-EZ and complete it and mail it to request a transcript. Both phone and mail options are generally processed within 10 days.
How much do tax transcripts cost?
The IRS offers tax transcripts at no charge.
What types of tax transcripts are available?
The IRS has a variety of tax transcripts available, and they may be used for different purposes.
Tax Return Transcripts
- Tax return transcripts show line items from your 1040 as filed with your schedules and forms – but it won’t show any changes that you submitted after you filed your original return.
- You can request a tax return transcript for the current tax year and up to three prior tax years.
- These transcripts are most often used for mortgages and student loans.
Tax Account Transcript
- A tax account transcript shows your basic data including your filing status, taxable income, and payment types. It does include changes made after you filed your return.
- You can obtain this transcript for the current year and up to nine prior tax years if you use the online portal. If you’re requesting by phone or mail, you’re limited to three years.
- Use this transcript for estimating tax payments or confirming changes to your returns.
Record of Account Transcript
- This is a combination of the tax return and tax account transcripts.
- You can get this transcript for the current tax year and three prior years.
Wage and Income Transcript
- This transcript includes information from forms W-2, 1098, 1099, and 5498 – any forms including wages or income (approximately 85 different income forms).
- To request this transcript, you need to fill out IRS form 4605-T.
- You can request up to the previous nine years of information for this transcript.
Verification of Non-Filing
- This letter is a verification that the IRS does not have a record of a processed form 1040 for you as of the date of the request.
- It’s available after June 15th for the current tax year, and anytime for the previous three tax years.
- If you need it for a time frame beyond the previous three years, you’ll need to fill out form 4605-T.
Note that transcripts are not copies of your full tax return. If you need a copy of your tax return, look for it in your tax software or with your tax provider. You can also request a copy from the IRS with form 4506, but note that there is a fee of $43 for copies of your tax return and it can take up to 75 days to process.
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