Getting Your Free IRS Transcript for your 2016-2017 Tax Return Information (Form 4506T IRS Tax Transcript)


I recently had to request a copy of my tax return when closing on my home (lenders required it) and when filing some INS papers. I had thought that this would be a hassle given that the requesting parties wanted an official transcript (not a H&R Block or Turbo tax copy). However it was actually a very simple and free process, that all tax payers can take advantage of. There are however a few things I learnt which can make the whole process a bit smoother. Firstly though it is important to understand what a tax transcript actually is and what is contains.

A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules. It does not reflect any changes you, your representative or the IRS made after the return was filed (e.g amendments) nor does it include any attachments (like W-2’s) that were submitted with your tax return. In most cases, a tax return transcript will meet the requirements of lending institutions such as those offering mortgages and for applying for student loans. It also meets the requirements for proving your income and residency with the INS and other government agencies.

If you do want details on any later adjustments either you or the IRS made after the tax return was filed, you should then request a tax account transcript. This transcript shows basic data, including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income.

Individuals can request free copies of their federal tax return information – tax return transcripts and tax account transcripts – online, by phone 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676), or order by mail using IRS Form 4506T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return). I recommend using the online method or calling the toll-free number because it is faster overall and because you are talking to a real person you can avoid making any obvious mistakes. All they will ask you is your SSN, DOB and address. Allow two to three weeks for delivery with either channel. If you haven’t received after this period then call the IRS number above because it probably means your request was lost or incorrectly processed.

You can also designate a third party (like your bank) to receive the tax transcripts. However be very careful with this and only send it to a credible institution that formally requests tax related information.

IRS Transcript Availability

The table below shows when you can request your transcript following the submission of your tax return

When your original return shows a … and you filed electronically, then and you filed on paper, then
refund amount or no balance due, allow 2-3 weeks after return submission before you request a transcript. allow 6-8 weeks after you mailed your return before you request a transcript.
balance due and you paid in full with your return, allow 2-3 weeks after return submission before you request a transcript. we process your return in June and you can request a transcript in mid to late June.

Note:  we process all payments upon receipt.

balance due and you paid in full after submitting the return, allow 3-4 weeks after full payment before you request a transcript.
balance due and you didn’t pay in full, we process your return in mid-May and you can request a transcript by late May.

When filling in form 4506T, keep the following key items in mind:

– You can request up to four years of tax data in the one form

– Make sure you include all the past addresses related to the tax returns you are requesting. I had to resubmit a form because I had forgotten to include one of my past addresses

– If you are unsure, most people would select form 1040 in item 6 and check option A, since this is the most common form for individual tax submissions

– If you need a copy of Form W-2 or Form 1099, you should first contact the payer (e.g. your employer) rather than the IRS. This is because the IRS will charge you a fee for copies of any attachments or forms you submitted with your complete tax return.

– Read all the instructions provided with the form to ensure you are filling it in correctly. If in doubt, go through the above toll free number to request the form (but be prepared to stay on hold for a while!)

You can request a tax return transcript at any time and it is not a bad idea to get it once a year for your records, particularly if you have misplaced past copies. If you are planning to buying a home and get a mortgage in the near future then I recommend submitting this form early on, in order to get the required transcripts ahead of time.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie caudill April 27

My tax was accepted March 27 and it still says being processed I had to do injured spouse so when should I expect my return??


Jesse r September 15

If I mailed in taxes in august is it still 6-8 weeks waiting time for my tax transcript to come available? Is the 6-8 weeks accurate/ firm usually?


Darlene Lebrun February 10

I am trying to get my pin so I can file my 2016 return


me June 19

would i be able to request a federal tax return from 2000 for ins purpuse?


Andy (Author) June 19

yes. Just use the form mentioned


C.ramos February 19

I just forgot the address where my 2011 return was sent and I need it to file for this year what do I do ??????


Andy (Author) February 19

Call the IRS – 1-800-829-1040 – and they can verify your identity and send you your 2011 return details.


John Strand June 1

I filed a joint return 10 weeks ago. I should be getting a large refund but the IRS “my refund” site has no information about the status. I sent it certified USPS mail and the post office confirms that they delivered it to the IRS. I suspect the IRS has lost/misplaced the form internally. The IRS “help” phone number (LOL) is a maze of options … haven’t found one to determine if they actually have my return. What should I do next?


Crystal Williams May 22

I need a copy of my tax return for 2012 in order to enroll in community college on time.Could you please guide me the steps or give me a phone number to call in order to retrieve this information.It is really important.I need to apply for FAFA and financial aid as soo as possible.Thank you.


andys2i May 24

All the details and phone numbers you need are in the article. Please review again.


todd ernest herreid February 2

my wife & i both need information on money made & money with-held on our 2009 taxes in order to file our 2010 taxes.we filed in 2009 on line at taxact but did not get it printed off before our computer computer but no records of taxes.can you help us ?


todd ernest herreid February 2

i am doing my 2010 taxes & need to know my 2009 taxes.i did my taxes on line at taxact but printer was out of ink, so was going to print later on but my computer crashed @ had to get a new computer.all information was lost


John Jones January 14

Need a copy of my 2009 tax return


Doris C. Wright December 6

I need a copy of my 2009 income tax return


Janice Bush March 7

I need a copy of my 2009 tax return for school, my son is going to school please help me to find.


rosemary cooper November 17

I need a copy of mine and my husbands 2009 taxes for our daughters school information. I cant find ours at home. please help me if you can thank you and have a great day.


Allen Gonseth October 22

I need my records for 2009 tax returns. I don’t need to file. I just need a copy of my return. How much I made and what I got back. If u can help please do. Thank you


Emily McGuire September 12

When I googled how to get a copy of my 2009 tax return, the IRS website says to use this exact same form you refer to, but it said on the site that you have to include a $57 fee for each tax year requested. But you say it’s free? Which one is it? :/


Mary Mason September 3

Need a copy of my 2009 Tax Return by next Thursday September 9th?


andys2i September 8

Then call the above numbers. However it does take a few weeks to get the return.


Adam December 16

My wife ask for tax 2013
It’s more than month now and no answer
Plz help we need it quickly


michael August 18

i need a copy of my 2009 tax return


nigel crew July 29

view or get a copy of my 2009 tax return


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