How to get a Copy of your Tax Return

tax return transcriptMany people need a copy of their federal income tax return in order to get a mortgage or file for financial aid.  You can order a copy of your return from the IRS for $57, but most people can get everything they need with a tax return transcript.

I was just looking at another website that offered to get your transcript for you, for a fee of $99.  But you can get that transcript directly from the IRS for free and it’s easy to do.   Here’s how:

Call the IRS main phone number:  1 (800) 829-1040

You’re going to hear a computerized woman’s voice asking you questions.  You will select “2” for information on your personal taxes.

Next, you will select “1” for information about your tax history.

Next you’ll enter “2” to get a transcript.

[Just so you know, you can call the IRS at 1 800 829-1040, type in 2, then 1, then 2 and it will take you to this next part.  You don’t have to listen to the whole computerized menu offerings.]

After that, you’ll be asked for your social security number.  If you’re married, use the social security number of the spouse listed first on the return.  They’ll be questions to verify your address.  They’ll ask what year you need the transcript for, but it’s all computer automated and you respond with your telephone keypad.  You can order up to 10 transcripts if you need them.

See how easy that is?  It will take 5 to 10 days for your transcripts to arrive at your address.   And you won’t have wasted any money! 

If you must have a photo copy of your tax return, you’ll need to file form 4506.  It will cost you $57 and can take up to 60 days to receive.  Before you spend the money, be sure to check with the bank and see if a transcript won’t be acceptable.  Here’s a link to the form if you need it.   Form 4506

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