Free Copies (Transcripts)
If you cannot find a copy of your tax return, fortunately, you can obtain a transcript from the IRS. A free tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as you originally filed it, including any accompanying schedules and forms. Your transcript will include all the information a lender or government agency needs, at least in most cases. Ask the requester (usually a mortgage company of student loan agency) or your tax return copy to make sure that this type of return transcript will meet their requirements. The tax return transcript is generally available for the current and past three years.
The IRS can also provide a tax account transcript. The tax account transcript is also free and shows basic data from your return, including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income and taxable income. Like the tax return transcript, the tax account transcript is generally available for the current and past three years.
You can order your transcript(s) using the IRS’s Order a Transcript application. You can also call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.
Exact Copies Not Free
If you need an exact copy of one of your tax returns, includes all attachments such as W-2′s, you will need to complete Form 4506 (Request for Copy of Tax Return). Exact copies cost $57.00 and are generally available for returns filed in the current and past six years. Copies of jointly filed tax returns may be requested by either spouse and only one signature is required. Allow 60 calendar days to receive your copies.