The IRS has launched a new program which allows taxpayers to download and have immediate access to their previously filed tax returns or tax return transcripts. Prior to offering this service, the IRS would send tax returns by mail to taxpayers who requested them which could take five to 10 business days. This new free online service provides users with immediate access to tax information that is often needed when you apply for a loan, mortgage, or visa. It's also information you may want or need if you are ever audited. This tax transcripts are only available to individual taxpayers seeking the information on their own behalf, not their tax preparers or anyone else.
There are several different types of tax return transcripts that can be obtained online through the “Get Transcript” service on the IRS website.
Tax return transcript. You can obtain your tax return transcript which shows most line items from your Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ tax return. This includes all the information you had as it was originally filed, including any forms and schedules. It does not, however, show any changes that were made by the IRS or you after your original return was filed. You can get copies of your current and past three years tax returns through this service.
Tax account transcript. Your tax account transcript has basic information from your tax return, such as your marital status, the type of return you filed, your adjusted gross income, and your taxable income. Unlike the tax return transcript, the tax account transcript shows any adjustments or changes made by you or the IRS after you filed your return. This transcript is also available for the current and prior three years.
Record of account transcript. This tax transcript combines the tax return and tax account transcripts.
Wage and income transcript. The wage and income transcript has data from the information returns for you reported to the IRS, such as W-2s, 1099s, and 1098s. For the most recent tax year, the information may not be complete until July.
Verification of nonfiling letters. These letters provide proof from the IRS that you did not file a tax return for the most recent tax year. The letter does not state whether or not the taxpayer should have filed a tax return.