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How to get your tax transcript

Need your tax transcript? Here’s how to get it…

If you find yourself in a situation where you are in need of precise information from your past tax documents, all you need to do is gain access to your tax transcript.

An IRS tax transcript or a tax transcript is an encapsulation of your previous tax returns. To protect your privacy, most IRS transcripts do not fully display your personal information. The information you can access on a tax transcript would depend on the type of transcript it is. Different forms of the IRS transcript that you receive will display different information.

There are different reasons why you may need your tax return transcript. If you have misplaced some part of your tax record and need to figure out how much tax you’ll need to pay in the future, going through your tax transcript can help you figure that out. Also, when you apply for an auto loan or mortgage, your IRS wage and income transcript can be used to show proof of income to lenders.

In this post, we’re going to show you the different types of tax transcripts that exist, the information they provide, and how you can place a tax transcript request.


Types of IRS transcript

Five different types of tax transcripts exist. Understanding what each IRS transcript provides will give you an insight into what you should be requesting depending on what you need your tax transcript for.

Generally, a tax transcript contains information from your tax return such as payment and return type, your filing status information, and your adjusted gross income. The several types of an IRS transcript are:

  1. Return Transcript

The return transcript contains your adjusted gross income and most line items from your tax return. You can request a return transcript for the ongoing year and the last 3 years.

Take note that if you have made some changes after filing your original tax return, the return transcript will not show it.

2. Tax Account Transcript

The tax account transcript provides primary data such as taxable income, return type, marital status, Adjustable Gross Income, and payment type. For a tax account transcript, you can request for the ongoing year and as far back as 10 years (if you are requesting your tax transcript online or via Form 4506-T). If you choose to request tax transcript via mail or phone, you can gain access to your IRS transcripts dating back up to 3 years.

This transcript is a great option if you want to confirm that your estimated tax payments were applied; it also documents all changes made on your amended tax return.

3. Record of Account Transcript

The Record of Account Transcript is an all-inclusive and thorough transcript. It provides both the information provided in your tax return and tax account transcripts. You can request a record of account tax transcript for the ongoing year and the last three years.

4. Wages and Income Transcript

The IRS Wage and Income Transcript provides information from your W-2, Form 1099s, Form 1098, and IRA contribution. You can request for your IRS Wage and Income Transcript that covers the ongoing year and as far back as 10 years (if you are requesting your tax transcript online or via Form 4506-T).

5. Verification of Non-Filing Letter

The Verification of Non-Filing Letter, as the name implies, is simply proof that the IRS has not received a Form 1040 from you for a particular year.


How to get your tax transcript

You may not know this yet, but there are easy and more direct ways to get your IRS transcript which do not require a dime from you. Yes, you can get your tax transcript for free!

1.The first way is to request a tax transcript online by going to the IRS’ “Get Transcript” website, scrolling down till you find the option for “Request Online” and clicking on the “Get Transcript Online” option.

To see a display of your IRS transcript on your screen, you will be required to verify your identity.

You will also be required to provide information like your Social Security number, date of birth, filing status, and mailing address from your latest tax return. It is important for you to have access to your email account as information will be sent there.

You should be able to supply your personal account number from a credit card, mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, or car loan, as well as from a mobile phone with your name on the account.


  1. The second way to get an IRS transcript is via your phone and you can do this by calling the IRS at 800-908-9946 and the transcript will be sent to you via direct mail. This usually takes about 5 to 10 days to process.


  1. The third way to get an IRS transcript is by mail. You can do this by printing a copy of the IRS Form 4506-T or IRS Form 4506-T-EZ, filling it out, and mailing it. This typically takes 30 days to process.


Requesting for your tax return transcript in 10 simple steps

Requesting for your IRS transcript is easy and free. You do not have to pay or reveal your financial information to anyone to get your tax transcript, all you have to do is:

  1. Step one: Go the official IRS website and request to get an IRS transcript of your tax records.
  2. Step two: Select “Get transcript online.”
  3. Step three: Select “OK” to agree with their terms and conditions.
  4. Step four: Click on “Create an account” if you don’t have an account or “Sign in” if you already do.
  5. Step five: To create an IRS account, enter your first name, last name, and email address into the required fields.
  6. Step six: Check your email for a verification code and enter it.
  7. Step seven: Enter the following personal information:
    • Your Social Security Number
    • Your Date of Birth
    • Select your Filing Status
    • Fill in your registered address
    • Check the box at the bottom of the page and Continue
  8. Step eight: Ensure that you answer your verification questions correctly.
  9. Step nine: Select the reason you want your tax transcript (eg, mortgage, income verification, healthcare, etc), to help the IRS suggest the most suitable tax transcript for you.
  10. Step ten:  Your tax return transcript will open in PDF format. Print it.

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Internet subscribers, users, and online readers are advised not to act upon this information without seeking the service of a professional accountant. Any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this website is not intended to be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties, of any kind, under U.S. federal tax laws.