How to Check Tax Return Transcript
A tax return transcript is a document that contains all the information from your tax return as it was originally filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is often required for various purposes, such as applying for a mortgage, student loan, or financial aid. To obtain a tax return transcript, you can follow the steps below:
1. Visit the IRS website: Start by visiting the official website of the IRS, which is www.irs.gov.
2. Locate the “Get Transcript” tool: On the IRS website, search for the “Get Transcript” tool. It is usually located under the “Tools” or “Online Services” section of the homepage.
3. Choose the type of transcript: Once you access the “Get Transcript” tool, you will be prompted to select the type of transcript you need. The available options include tax return transcript, account transcript, wage and income transcript, and verification of nonfiling letter.
4. Provide personal information: To verify your identity, the IRS will require certain personal information, such as your Social Security number, date of birth, and the filing status used on your most recent tax return.
5. Select the tax year: After providing your personal information, you will be asked to select the tax year for which you need the transcript. Typically, the IRS provides tax return transcripts for the past three years.
6. Choose the delivery method: Once you have selected the tax year, you can choose to receive the transcript online or by mail. The online option provides an immediate download, while the mail option may take several business days.
7. Complete the authentication process: To ensure the security of your information, the IRS will ask additional questions to verify your identity. These questions may be based on your credit history, such as the amount of your mortgage payment or the name of your employer.
8. Download or receive the transcript: If you selected the online option, you will be able to download the tax return transcript immediately. If you chose the mail option, the transcript will be sent to the address on file with the IRS.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. How long does it take to receive a tax return transcript by mail?
Depending on the IRS workload, it can take up to 10 business days to receive a tax return transcript by mail.
2. Can I request a tax return transcript for someone else?
Yes, but you will need to provide proper authorization and documentation to request a tax return transcript on behalf of someone else.
3. Is there a fee to obtain a tax return transcript?
No, tax return transcripts are provided free of charge by the IRS.
4. Can I use a tax return transcript instead of a copy of my tax return?
In most cases, a tax return transcript is an acceptable substitute for a copy of your tax return when applying for loans or financial aid.
5. Can I request a tax return transcript online if I don’t have a Social Security number?
No, the online tool requires a Social Security number for verification purposes. However, you can still request a tax return transcript by mail.
6. How far back can I request a tax return transcript?
The IRS provides tax return transcripts for the past three years. If you need information from an earlier year, you may need to request a tax account transcript instead.
7. Can I request a tax return transcript for a previous business tax return?
No, the tax return transcript is only available for individual tax returns. For business tax returns, you may need to request a tax account transcript or contact the IRS directly.
8. Are tax return transcripts the same as tax account transcripts?
No, tax return transcripts show the information as it was originally filed, while tax account transcripts provide a summary of your tax account activity, including any changes made after the return was filed.
In conclusion, obtaining a tax return transcript is a fairly simple process that can be done online or by mail. It is an essential document for various financial purposes and is usually provided free of charge by the IRS. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily check your tax return transcript and have it in hand whenever it is needed.