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How to Get Tax Transcripts & Copies of Returns from the IRS

July 31, 2017

The IRS says you should keep copies of your tax returns for at least three years. If you need a copy of your tax return, check with your tax software provider or the person who helped you file your taxes. You can also get a copy of a past tax return from the IRS for a fee.

There is another option. You can get a “tax transcript” from the IRS for free.

A tax transcript gives you a summary of your tax return information. It includes your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Transcripts are available after the IRS has processed a return. You can also get them for the past three years.

When applying for a home mortgage or college financial aid, a transcript is often necessary. Plan ahead. Delivery times for online and phone orders are typically five to 10 days.

Follow this link to find out how to order a free transcript online, by phone or by mail. You can also learn how to request a copy of a tax return from the IRS from the last six years (for a fee).