If you ever misplace or lose your tax information from years past, recovery is possible.
You may need previous tax information for any number of reasons, including personal reasons, getting audited, or as proof for any number of new credit applications.
If you are unable to find the information that you need, you can get your past tax information directly from the IRS.
Identify What You Need to Obtain Tax Information
Clarify which type of information you need before contacting the IRS. The two types of records are tax return transcripts and tax account transcripts.
- Tax Return Transcripts – these documents show most line items listed on your original filed tax return. The transcripts will also include any schedules or additional forms that were filed. Any changes made after the initial filing will not be included in the transcripts. Most lenders will be satisfied with the information contained in this type of transcript.
- Tax Account Transcript – these documents will show any adjustments made by the filer or the IRS after the original filing was made. These transcripts will include necessary information such as filing status, type of return, taxable income amounts, and adjusted gross income amounts.
How to Request Previous Tax Information
The IRS does not charge any fees to request transcripts. You can request the current year and all transcripts for the last three years. You can contact the IRS by phone at 800-829-1040. Use the automated system and follow the prompts to request transcripts.
You can also contact the IRS by mail. Complete the IRS Form 4506T-EZ Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript if you filed a Form 1040 as your return. For business requests, you need to use Form 4506T Request for Transcript of Tax Return. Forms are available on the IRS website or by calling the IRS forms and publications order line at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Expect the tax return transcripts to take up to 10 business days from the date the IRS received the initial request. For tax account transcripts, it can take up to 30 calendar days to obtain copies.
If you need an actual copy of a processed tax return and not just a transcript of the information, you will have to pay a $57 fee for each tax year. The processing time can take up to 60 days. You will need to complete Form 4506 Request for Copy of Tax Form and mail it to the IRS office in your coverage area. You can request the current year and the past six years of actual tax copies.