Accounting & Tax Tips

September 21, 2021

How to Access Your Tax Transcript from the IRS

Did you know you can request an online copy of your current tax year transcript and three prior years using the IRS Get Transcript feature? Tax transcripts are free and helpful if you need to provide proof of income to a lending institution for a mortgage, car loan, or financial aid, among other reasons.

What Types of Tax Transcripts are Available?

Several types of tax transcripts are available from the IRS, including:

Tax Return Transcript – shows most line items including your adjusted gross income (AGI) from your original Form 1040-series tax return as filed, along with any forms and schedules. It doesn’t show changes made after you filed your original return. This transcript is only available for the current tax year and returns processed during the prior three years. A tax return transcript usually meets the needs of lending institutions offering mortgages and student loans. Note: the secondary spouse on a joint return must use Get Transcript Online or Form 4506-T to request this transcript type. When using Get Transcript by Mail or phone, the primary taxpayer on the return must make the request.

Tax Account Transcript – shows basic data such as return type, marital status, adjusted gross income, taxable income and all payment types. It also shows changes made after you filed your original return. This transcript is available for the current tax year and up to 10 prior years using Get Transcript Online or Form 4506-T. When using Get Transcript by Mail or phone, you’re limited to the current tax year and returns processed during the prior three years. Note: If you made estimated tax payments and/or applied an overpayment from a prior year return, you can request this transcript type a few weeks after the beginning of the calendar year to confirm your payments prior to filing your tax return.

Record of Account Transcript – combines the tax return and tax account transcripts above into one complete transcript. This transcript is available for the current tax year and returns processed during the prior three years using Get Transcript Online or Form 4506-T.

Wage and Income Transcript – shows data from information returns we receive such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1098 and Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information. Current tax year information may not be complete until July. This transcript is available for up to 10 prior years using Get Transcript Online or Form 4506-T.

Verification of Non-filing Letter – provides proof that the IRS has no record of a filed Form 1040-series tax return for the year you requested. It doesn’t indicate whether you were required to file a return for that year. This letter is available after June 15 for the current tax year or anytime for the prior three tax years using Get Transcript Online or Form 4506-T. You must use Form 4506-T if you need a letter for tax years older than the prior three years.

What Do You Need to Access the Tax Transcript Online?

To requestion the transcript online, you will need the following information handy:

  • Your SSN, date of birth, filing status and mailing address from your latest tax return,
  • Access to your email account,
  • Your personal account number from a credit card, mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit or car loan, and
  • A mobile phone linked to your name (for faster registration) or ability to receive an activation code by mail.

Alternatively, you may also request copies of your transcripts by mail.

Additional information is available on the IRS Get Transcript portal and Get Transcript FAQs.

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