How to Retrieve Your Prior Tax Information

If you are applying for a loan, mortgage, or a VISA, you may need to get a copy of your tax return from a prior year. Though most people keep a copy, there are times when they get lost.

Lucky for you, the IRS can help you get a copy of your previous taxes. Before you ask for a copy, you have to realize that you can get two different copies. If you want the original tax return the way that you filed it, you are going to have to request a tax return transcript. If you want to see the adjustments made by the IRS, you should ask for a tax account transcript.

Once you decide what you want, there are three different ways to get your transcripts.

Request them online. If you look online at their website (, you can request your tax returns. You will have to confirm your identity before you can see your returns. At that point, you are able to print them out for your own records.

Request them by phone. If you want to ask for them by phone, contact them at 800-908-9946. You will be taken through a recorded message to get your returns.

Request them by mail. If you go online (, you can look for the option to "Get Transcript by Mail." If not, you can always complete a form. Form 4506-EZ allows you to get your tax return transcript while Form 4506-T allows you to get your tax transcript.

It can take a few days to get your tax returns. You may have to wait up to thirty days if you are requesting your forms by mail.

Source: How to retrieve Prior tax information