Originally created 02/24/03

Tax tip: old tax returns are available from the IRS



There may be times when you need a copy of your prior year federal tax return, a transcript of a return or tax account information. A phone call to the IRS may easily solve your problem.

There are several different options available depending on how quickly you need the information.

If you need a photocopy of a previously processed tax return, complete Form 4506, Request for Copy or Transcript of Tax Form and mail it to the IRS address listed on the form for your area. There is a fee of $23 for each tax period requested. It may take up to 60 days for you to receive the copy, but there are several other options if you need some of the information sooner.

A tax return transcript, while not a photocopy of your actual return, will list line items from your original tax return. These may be available to you within 7-10 work days. Transcripts are available only for returns in the 1040 series (Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ). In many cases, a transcript will meet the requirement for lending institutions for purposes of student loans, mortgages, etc. There is no charge for tax return transcripts. Use Form 4506 to request a transcript.

If you need a "statement" of your tax account showing changes that you or the IRS made to your original return, request "Tax Account Information," which shows payments and tax adustments to your account. This information can be obtained free of charge by calling 1-800-829-1040. Allow 15 days for delivery. Do not use Form 4506 to request this information.

On the Net:

Internal Revenue Service - www.irs.gov