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IRS Tax Return or Account History Transcripts – How to get them

This is a very common question we get as tax preparers!

First thing to try would be Get Transcript Online system from the IRS – in my experience there is a 50/50 chance you could get them online.

If you’re unable to login, you may order a tax return transcript or account transcript using Get Transcript by Mail request or calling 1-800-908-9946. I could take up to 10 business days for a mailed transcript, FAX could be the fastest option.  Generally is the TAXPAYER that must request their own transcripts.

Now, there are multiple Transcript Types:

  • Tax Return Transcript: shows most line items including your adjusted gross income (AGI) from your original tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as filed, along with any forms and schedules. It doesn’t show changes made after you filed your original return. This transcript is only available for the current tax year and returns processed during the prior three years. A tax return transcript usually meets the needs of lending institutions offering mortgages and student loans. Note: this is NOT a copy of the return, is just the numbers from it!
  • Tax Account Transcript : shows basic data such as return type, marital status, adjusted gross income, taxable income and all payment types. It also shows changes made after you filed your original return. Note: If you made estimated tax payments and/or applied an overpayment from a prior year return, you can request this transcript type a few weeks after the beginning of the calendar year to confirm your payments prior to filing your tax return.
  • Record of Account Transcript: combines the tax return and tax account transcripts above into one complete transcript.
  • Wage and Income Transcript: shows data from information returns we receive such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1098 and Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information. Current tax year information may not be complete until July.

3rd parties requesting transcripts must send a form 4506-T

More info:

IRS’s FAQ on Transcripts

Hector Garcia

Hector Garcia

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