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How to Get a Copy of Your Prior Year Tax Information

February 24, 2015

A time may arise when you may be asked to provide information from last year’s tax return. Whether it be for a student loan, mortgage, or a VISA, it’s important to know how to obtain this important information. The IRS offers a free transcript service to get you the information you need.

tax return transcript may provide you information needed more quickly. Transcripts provide taxpayers with a record of their tax return which includes most of the line-items as filed with the IRS, including any accompanying forms and schedules. However, it is important to remember that this report will not reflect any changes made after the return was filed with the IRS. In order to view any adjustments made by you or the IRS after the return was filed, request a tax account transcript. This report will show basic data such as marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income, and taxable gross income.

There are many ways to request one of the transcripts listed above. You can request the transcript by going online to and selecting the “Get Transcript” tool. You can use this tool to immediately view and print copies of your transcript for free. You may also order a transcript by phone by calling 800-908-9946 and a voice recording will guide you through the ordering process. Lastly, you may order by mail, either by using the “Get Transcript by mail” option online or by completing and mailing the Form 4506T. Ordering by mail typically takes 30 days to receive.

In order to receive an actual copy of your tax return from a previous year, you must complete and mail Form 4506 to the IRS office listed on the form for your area. The cost is $50 per copy and may take up to 75 days to receive. Tax forms are available to print online at