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IRS Tax Return Copies and Transcripts

Tax return copy or transcript?

Important: In order to get your previous year AGI for a current tax return, obtain a tax transcript by clicking the button below:

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 or transcript of your IRS tax return. While a transcript is a document that summaries the information from your tax return, a copy shows your completed, submitted, and accepted tax return. If you are not sure whether to obtain a copy or transcript of your return, you will need to ask the requesting financial institution (e.g. mortgage, loan company, etc.). 

How to Get a Tax Return Copy If You Used efile.com

You can access full copies of your previously three completed tax returns (including the current filing Tax Year) anytime for free by following the instructions below: 

  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. 

How to Obtain a Tax Return Copy If You 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 seven years from the original date they are filed before they are destroyed by law.

How to Request a Free Transcript of a 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: 

Transcript Availability

The IRS will post the transcript of your tax return on their website within 2 to 4 weeks if you efiled your return. 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 three years from the date you filed your original tax return. 

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. 

Transcript Request Requirements

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)

To verify your identity, the IRS will also ask you to provide financial account information. 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. You can provide one of the following financial accounts: 

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

You will generally receive your transcript(s) in the mail within 5-10 days after the IRS receives your request.

More Information About Transcripts

Be aware that a transcript does not show any changes or amendments you or the IRS may have made after the IRS accepted your return. 

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 you make your request via phone or online. Transcripts requested online can only be mailed to the address used on your last tax return.