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How to Get a Tax Return Transcript or Copy

Tax return copy or transcript?

Important: In order to get your previous year AGI for a current tax return, obtain a tax transcript and follow this link: Get Your IRS Tax Return Transcript Online. You do not need a tax return copy if you only need the previous year AGI. 

When applying for a mortgage, loan, etc., you might be asked to provide a copy of your IRS tax return. If you efiled your return on efile.com, you can access a full copy of your previously 3 completed tax returns anytime for free by following the instructions below. If you did not use efile.com, you can request a free transcript online or a copy of your tax return through the IRS. While a transcript is a document that summaries the information from your tax return, a copy is an actual copy of your completed, submitted, and accepted tax return. If you are not sure whether to obtain a copy or transcript of your tax return, please ask the requesting financial institution (e.g. mortgage, loan company, etc.).

Below are detailed instructions how to obtain tax return copies and/or transcripts. 

How Do I Obtain a Copy of My IRS or Federal Tax Return If I Used efile.com?

  1. Sign into your efile.com account
  2. Click "My Account" on the upper right side of your account screen. 
  3. Click the appropriate Tax Year link under the "Your Return" heading. Your completed return will be listed as a PDF file, ready for you to download and print. Important: You'll only be able to obtain copies of tax returns for the last three Tax Years (including the current filing Year). 

How Do I Obtain a Copy of My IRS or Federal Tax Return If I DID NOT use efile.com?

Download, complete, and mail Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, to the IRS (mailing address is on the form). Include a $50.00 check made payable to "U.S. Treasury" with Form 4506 (the fee may be waived if you reside in an official disaster area as declared by the President). It may take the IRS about 60 days to process your request and mail your tax return copy or copies. You may need a copy of your tax return in the event you prepare for a tax audit. Generally, the IRS makes tax return copies available for 7 years from the original date they are filed before they are destroyed by law.

How Do I Obtain a Transcript of My IRS or Federal Tax Return? 

efile.com does not issue tax transcripts, even if you prepared and efiled your federal tax return via efile.com.

Here are three options to obtain your tax transcript from the IRS: 

  1. Get Your IRS Tax Return Transcript Online. You can use this option to immediately view your AGI to efile your return. 
  2. Call 1-800-908-9946 to request a transcript via phone. 
  3. Download, complete, and mail Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return or Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript (mailing address is on the form). 

When Is A Tax Return Transcript Available?

If you efiled your tax return, the IRS will post the transcript on their website within 2 to 4 weeks. However, the IRS will post the transcript in about 6 weeks if you mail your return. If you owe taxes and you did not pay all the tax you owe, the IRS may not post your transcript until mid-May or a week after you pay the entire taxes owed. Tax transcripts are generally available for 3 years from the date you filed your original tax return. 

The following information is required to register an account and request an IRS tax transcript online.  

  • Full Name
  • Email address
  • Birth date
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Tax filing status
  • Current mailing address
  • U.S. mobile phone number associated with your name (so the IRS can send you a text message about your IRS account and protect your information)

The IRS will also ask you to verify your identity for extra security purposes. You can provide the IRS with one of the following financial accounts: 

  • Credit Card
  • Mortgage or Home Equity Loan
  • Home Equity Line of Credit
  • Auto Loan

Be aware that the IRS will not charge you any money nor will you be sharing any account balances or other financial information with the IRS. 

Will a Tax Return Transcript Show Any Changes or Amendments Made to My Return?

A transcript does not show any changes or amendments you or the IRS may have made after your return was accepted by the IRS.

When Can I Request a Transcript If I Made Estimated Tax Payments or Applied an Overpayment?

If you submitted estimated tax payments and/or applied an overpayment from a prior year tax return to your current year tax return, you can request your transcript a few weeks after the beginning of the year prior to filing your current year return in order to confirm the payments. 

Can I Ask the IRS to Send My Transcript to a Third Party?

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.

When Will I Receive My Transcript After I Send My Transcript Request?

You will generally receive your tax return transcript(s) in the mail 5-10 days after the IRS receives your request. However, if you request your transcript online as shown above, you will receive it immediately.