Tax Return Copy or Tax Return Transcript
It is easy to get a copy of an old tax return. If you efiled your return with efile.com, you can access a full copy anytime for free. You can also get a full copy of a tax return or a FREE tax return transcript from the IRS.
Tax Return Copy (If You Used efile.com)
If you prepared and efiled your tax return on efile.com, sign in to your efile.com account and click the link on the left under "Your Return". Your completed return will be listed as a PDF file, ready for you to download and print.
Tax Return Copy or Transcript (If You Did NOT Use efile.com)
If you did NOT prepare your tax return on efile.com (or even if you did), you may request a full copy or a transcript of a prior year tax return from the IRS. Transcripts are free and provide most of the information you will ever need from an old tax return. Transcripts are only available for the past 3 years. Full copies of a tax return are generally available for the past 6 years, but cost $50.00 each.
Tax Return Transcripts
A tax return transcript will usually show all of the information you might need from a full copy of your tax return. A transcript is a computer-generated printout which summarizes your old tax return and includes most of the line items from the return, including any accompanying forms and schedules. The transcript does not show any changes or amendments you or the IRS may have made after your return was accepted by the IRS.
How to Order a FREE Tax Return Transcript
There are 3 easy ways to order a tax return transcript from the IRS:
- Call to request a transcript: 1-800-908-9946
- Order a transcript online
- Fill out Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return or Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript and mail it to the address listed on the form.
You will generally receive your tax return transcript(s) in the mail 5-10 days after the IRS receives your request.
You can have transcripts mailed to a third party if you specify this on Form 4506-T. Transcripts cannot be sent to a third party if your request is made by phone or online. Transcripts requested online can only be mailed to the address used on your last tax return. All tax return transcripts are free.
Here is a sample of a tax return transcript.
How to Order a Full Copy of a Tax Return from the IRS
To get a full copy of an IRS-accepted tax return that was not prepared on efile.com, you will need to complete and mail Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return to the IRS. You will need to include a $50.00 check made payable to "U.S. Treasury". The fee may be waived if you reside in an official disaster area as declared by the President. It may take the IRS 60 days to process your request and mail your tax return copy or copies.
How to prepare for a tax audit