Make sure you’ve filed your returns and the IRS has processed them before requesting a transcript. The IRS can’t provide certain transcripts if the return isn’t processed.
If you filed your return electronically, it will be about three weeks before the tax transcript is available.
If you mailed your return, it will take approximately six weeks.
[NOTE: If you didn’t pay all the taxes you owe, your return and your transcript may not be available until mid-May, or a week after you pay the full amount owed.]
Some notes on privacy:
When you request a transcript online or by phone, the IRS must verify that you’re the taxpayer or are authorized to receive this information. For example: You have a valid power of attorney filed with the IRS for the relevant tax period.
You can ask the IRS to send a transcript to you or to a third party. For example: A lender. Once the IRS sends your tax information to a third party, it has no control over what the third party does with it. If you’d like to limit how the third party uses your information, you can specify this in a written agreement with the third party.
Requesting a Transcript Online
In the past, the IRS allowed taxpayers to download copies of their transcripts. Currently, that system is unavailable. You can still use the online system to request that a transcript be mailed to you.
The IRS has an online system for getting a transcript:
IRS.gov - Get Transcript on IRS.gov.
Currently you can get copies of your transcripts mailed to you at the address the IRS has on record for you.
The system will ask for personal information and then ask you to indicate which type of transcript you want.
Requesting a Transcript by Phone
The IRS has a toll-free line for requesting transcripts. Call 1-800-908-9946. This line is only for transcripts and will walk you through the steps. You can request up to ten transcripts per call.
Requesting a Transcript by Mail
To request a free transcript, complete IRS Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return and mail it to the IRS at the address provided on the form.
Requesting Copies of Other Forms
To obtain a copy of the IRS W-2 or IRS Form 1099 you filed with your return, first contact the employer who issued it. If you still need a copy from the IRS, complete IRS Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return and mail it to the IRS with the fee listed on the form, currently $50.00.
Remember: If you only need the information from your tax return or information return and don’t need an actual copy, you can request a Tax Return Transcript or Wage and Investment Transcript instead, which are free.
A note about FAFSA
If you’re looking for tax information to help you file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you may not need a transcript. The IRS Data Retrieval tool works from within your FAFSA application to import your financial information directly from the IRS to your application. You can use this tool when you get to the Financial Information part of the application.