Blog Post

Do you know where you filed the copies of your tax return? What about your tax return from 3 years ago? The IRS recommends that you keep at least 3 years of tax returns on hand.  If you can’t find a copy, tax transcripts may be the answer.

Tax transcripts contain the major information needed from a tax return. It includes adjusted gross income, filing status, wages, and other income, even a record of non-filing. The IRS keeps tax transcripts for each person for each of the last three years (plus the current year).

Taxpayers might find that a tax transcript will come in handy when applying for a mortgage, filling out documents for student loans, or applying for a Federal Health Care Program. Since tax transcripts contain sensitive information, the IRS requires quite a bit of personal information to access your tax transcript.

From here, taxpayers can learn how they can request a transcript, either online or by mail. Taxpayers can get different Form 1040-series transcript types from this page.

Transcript types:

Depending on why a taxpayer needs a transcript will determine which type they need. The IRS gives detailed information about what is included in the five different types of transcripts.

Frequently asked questions:

Taxpayers can visit the Q&A page for specific questions about the Get Transcript Online service. They’ll find FAQs about getting a transcript both online and by mail.

However, taxpayers might not need a full transcript. If they only need to find out how much they owe or verify payments they made within the last 18 months, they can visit the view your tax account page on the IRS website.


References: IRS Tax Tip 2019-96, July 22, 2019