IRS Tax Transcript

Use of an IRS tax transcript?

Due to the increasing concern about fraudulent applications for mortgage, car loan, financial aid or some other form of funding, Financial institutions prefer to see copies of your tax transcript.

To better protect your information from identity theft the IRS has a new format that partially masks the personally identifiable information of everyone listed on the tax return. All financial entries will remain fully visible to assist with tax representation and income verification.

Taxpayers may request an unmasked Wage & Income transcript for tax preparation that will be mailed to the taxpayer’s address of record.

What is an IRS tax transcript?

An IRS tax transcript is a quick summary of your important tax information from your federal tax return. The method you used to file your tax return, e-file or paper, and whether you had a balance due, affects your current year transcript availability. Note: If you need a photocopy of your return, you must use Form 4506.

There are actually 5 different types of IRS tax transcripts.  They contain detailed information about a taxpayer, their tax history, and their transactions with the IRS:

  • Tax return transcript:  this type is available for the current tax year and for returns processed in the previous 3 tax processing years.  The “return transcript” provides most of the line items on the original filed tax return.
  • Wage and income transcript:  the IRS has wage and income transcripts available for the past 10 years.  It is especially valuable to help file back returns, identify employment related tax identity theft, and for income verification.
  • Account transcript:  the account transcript provides detailed taxpayer information on activity on a taxpayer’s account. It can provide summary filing information and dates, payments made, refunds issued, refunds held or offset, compliance activity (like audits, collection actions, and notices), and stimulus payment information.
  • Record of account:  this transcript does not provide any new information that is not already on the return and account transcript. This is simply a combination of the return and account transcript. It is often used to help taxpayers with filing an accurate amended tax return because it provides the original return information along with indicators of adjustments made to the return after it was filed.
  • Verification of non-filing letter:  this letter is a transcript that can be produced for a taxpayer to confirm that they did not file a tax return for that year.  The letter was developed for taxpayers to use in obtaining some assistance programs.

How to get an IRS tax transcript?

There are 3 ways to make an IRS tax transcript request:

The fastest way is to use Get Transcript Online. Taxpayers must pass the Secure Access identity verification process. Select the “Tax Return Transcript” and use only the “Adjusted Gross Income” line entry.

  1. Order Online – Use the ‘Get Transcript ’ tool available on Those who use it must authenticate their identity using the Secure Access process.
  2. Order by phone – The IRS also allows you to use an automated phone line to request a tax transcript. Simply call the agency automated phone transcript service at 1-800-908-9946 and follow the prompts to order a tax return or tax account transcript be sent by mail.
  3. Order by mail – If you need to apply for your transcript by mail, you can fill out Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return. You can also use the online Get Transcript by Mail tool to submit your request for a mailed transcript.
irs tax transcript

 IRS has stopped processing transcript requests by mail until further notice. If you only need to find out how much you owe or verify payments you made within the last 18 months, you can view your tax account.

How to register an account with the IRS

To register an account and request an IRS tax transcript online you need the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Email address
  • Birth date
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Tax filing status
  • Current mailing address
  • U.S. mobile phone number associated with your name (so the IRS can send you a text message about your IRS account and protect your information)

In the event taxpayers fail Secure Access,  the request can be made using the mail option.  Allow five to 10 days for delivery. Use only the “Adjusted Gross Income” line entry.

How long to receive an IRS tax transcript?

Getting your federal tax information to prove your income is a straightforward process. Generally, you can quickly and easily get a copy for free with your online request. You will generally receive your tax transcript(s) in the mail within 5-10 days after the IRS receives your request or receive it instantly if you have a fax number.

If you find the process a little bit confusing, H&S Accounting & Tax Services will be glad to assist you.