Form 4506: Request for Copy of Tax Return

Form 4506, officially titled "Request for Copy of Tax Return," is an official document used by taxpayers to request a complete copy of their previously filed federal tax returns and tax information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

What is it Used For?

There are several reasons why a taxpayer might need a copy of their past return using Form 4506:

A. Completing Current Tax Return: Information from prior years' returns may be needed when filing the current year's taxes.

B. Amending a Prior-Year Return: This form can be used to obtain a copy for amending errors or omissions in a previously submitted return.

C. Claiming Refunds or Abatements: Taxpayers may need a copy to support claims for refunds or to request abatement of penalties or interest.

D. Government Benefits: Some government benefits require proof of income, which a copy of your tax return can provide.

E. Federal Student Aid: Applying for federal student aid might require verification of income using past tax returns.

F. Loan Applications: Verifying income during the loan application process can be done with a copy of your tax return.

G. IRS Audits: Having a copy of the return readily available can be helpful during an IRS audit.

Key Points To Remember About Form 4506:

Cost: There is a fee of $43 (as of April, 2024) associated with obtaining a copy of your return through Form 4506.

Alternatives: In some cases, a free tax transcript (Form 4506-T or 4506-T-EZ) might be sufficient. Transcripts provide a summary of your return information, but not a complete copy.

Processing Time: Allow up to 75 calendar days for the IRS to process your request submitted via Form 4506.

How to File Form 4506?

Download the Form: You can download the latest version of Form 4506 attached below.

Complete the Form: Fill out the form accurately, including your personal information, tax return year(s) requested, and a daytime phone number for IRS contact (if needed).

Include Payment: Attach a check or money order made payable to "United States Treasury" for the processing fee.

Mail the Form: Mail the completed form and payment to the designated IRS address based on your state of residence when the return was filed. You can find the specific mailing addresses on the IRS website.

Can I request a copy of someone else's tax return?

Generally, no. You can only request a copy of your own return or the return of someone you are legally authorized to represent (e.g., spouse, dependent).

What if I lose my tax return?

A copy obtained through Form 4506 can serve as a replacement for your lost return.

How long does the IRS keep tax returns?

The IRS typically retains tax returns for at least three years.

Is there a faster way to get a copy of my tax return?

Yes. You can request a free transcript online or by phone through the IRS website Transcripts are generally processed faster than Form 4506 requests.