If you’re dealing with tax issues with the IRS, getting a transcript should be the first thing you do.

What is an IRS transcript?

There are 5 types of transcripts that the IRS can provide to you free of charge:

  • Tax Return Transcript – shows most line items from your original tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as filed, including any forms and schedules. It doesn’t show changes made after you filed your original return. A return transcript usually meets the needs of lending institutions offering mortgages and student loans. If you need a photocopy of a return, you’ll need to fill out Form 4506 and fax or mail it to the IRS.
  • Tax Account Transcript – shows basic data such as return type, marital status, adjusted gross income, taxable income and all payment types. It also shows changes made after you filed your original return.
  • Record of Account Transcript – combines the tax return and tax account transcripts above into one complete transcript.
  • Wage and Income Transcript – shows data from information returns we receive such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1098 and Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information. Current tax year information may not be complete until July. Many taxpayers and even tax professionals don’t know about this type of transcript. It can be a very powerful tool to helping ensure that all your income has been reported on the tax return. Note: only including income from wage and income transcript is not sufficient. You must report income from all sources regardless of whether you receive a W-2 or 1099. Does the IRS have a way of finding out if you don’t? Yes, they can and sometimes do when you are audited.
  • Verification of Non-filing Letter – provides proof that the IRS has no record of a filed Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ for the year you requested. It doesn’t indicate whether you were required to file a return for that year.

How do I get a tax transcript?

Three are three ways to order your transcripts:

  • Get Transcript Online through the IRS website. You can view and print any of the transcript types online or request a transcript by mail. Via mail your transcripts will arrive in 5-10 business days.
  • Order a transcript by calling the IRS at 800-908-9946.
  • Visit one of the local IRS office Taxpayer Assistance Centers.

I got my tax transcripts, now what?

You should verify that all the income reported on your wage and income transcripts are on your tax return transcript. If not you’ll need to quickly file an amended return to minimize penalties and interest.

If you owe tax debt, you can determine the collections statute expiration date, determine if the IRS has issued a Notice of Federal Tax Lien or an Intent to Levy, and review penalties and interest that the IRS has assessed on your account.

Contact Us if you need assistance reviewing your transcripts.