It’s about time for college students to begin a new semester. This often involves applying for financial aid or student loans to cover tuition costs. Some lenders and universities ask that the student provide proof of income via a copy or transcript of the most recent tax return filed by the student or parent. If you do not have this information, you may request it from the IRS.
A tax return transcript shows most line items from the original tax return. It also includes any accompanying documents filed with the original tax return. A tax return transcript is free and may be requested by phone, mail, online. Time of delivery varies by your request method.
A tax return transcript does not include any changes made after the original return was filed. If you need that information, you may need to request a copy of your tax return. The copy will include all information associated with your tax return. To get a copy of your tax return you must fill out form form 4506 and mail it to the IRS address listed on the form for your area.
Here’s how to get your federal tax return information from the IRS:
1. You can get transcripts on the web, by phone or by mail. To request transcripts online, go to IRS.gov and use the Order a Transcript tool. To order by phone, call 800-908-9946 and follow the prompts.
2. To request a 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ tax return transcript by mail or fax, complete Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript. Businesses and individuals who need a tax account transcript should use Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.
3. If you order online or by phone, you should receive your tax return transcript within five to 10 calendar days. You should allow 30 calendar days for delivery of a tax account transcript if you order by mail.
4. You can request a copy of your prior year return directly from the IRS and it will cost $57 for each tax year. Complete Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, and mail it to the IRS address listed on the form for your area. Copies are generally available for the current year and past six years. Please allow 60 days for delivery.
5. If you live in a Presidentially declared disaster area, the IRS may waive the fee to obtain copies of your tax returns. Visit IRS.gov and select the ‘Disaster Relief’ link in the lower left corner of the page for more about IRS disaster assistance.
6. Forms 4506, 4506-T and 4506T-EZ are available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
- Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript
- Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return