People sometimes need to view their Internal Revenue Service (IRS) transcripts online. The IRS has an updated policy for viewing transcripts. Here’s what you need to know to access your IRS documents through an internet connection.
Types of IRS Transcripts
The IRS provides several types of transcripts on request. If you want a copy of your Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ tax return, you want a Tax Return Transcript. All forms and schedules submitted with the tax return are included in the Tax Return Transcript. The IRS provides transcripts of returns for the current year, and for three years prior to the current year.
An IRS Tax Account Transcript is a document that shows basic taxpayer data, including type of return filed, adjusted gross income, marital status and other pertinent facts about you and your tax-filing status. Tax Account Transcripts are available for the current year, as well as for the previous 10 years.
An IRS Record of Account Transcript is a combined copy of the above two transcripts, and is available for the current and previous three years. Wage and Income Transcripts include information from your W-2, 1099, 1098 or Form 5498, or other proof of income for the current year, as well as 10 years prior to this year. An additional form you may request is the Verification of Non-Filing letter, which simply shows that the IRS has no proof that you filed a tax return for a given year.
Methods to View Transcripts
You can receive your IRS transcripts by mail when you mail or phone the IRS directly. Form 4506-T is required for mail-in requests for all of the above transcript types. To view your IRS transcripts online, you must use the IRS’s Get Transcript Online portal. All types of transcripts may be obtained and viewed by logging on to the Get Transcript Online page.
At this time, only individual taxpayers may use the Get Transcript Online or the Get Transcript by Mail Service after registering with the IRS. Individual taxpayers (or lenders who request taxpayer transcripts) use a distinct customer file number on Form 4506-T to identify the taxpayer and match them to their personal tax documents. It’s important for taxpayers to remember and record their individual Customer File Numbers to receive authorization to view IRS transcripts online.
IRS Changes to Online Transcripts
In an effort to increase cybersecurity and identity protection for taxpayers, the IRS has changed the format of IRS transcripts. Personally identifying information is purposefully masked from IRS transcripts. However, all financial details, including wages, deductions, interest and penalties, are included on the transcripts to prove income for mortgages, loans and other purposes.
Your accountant or other tax preparer can request unmasked versions of your tax transcripts if they have proper authorization to do so. Tax preparers should contact the IRS Practitioner Priority Service line to request unmasked IRS transcripts for their clients. Tax preparers may need a Secure Object Repository, an e-Services account and other prerequisites to receive unmasked electronic IRS transcripts.
IRS Phone Number
If you plan to request IRS transcripts by phone, have identifying information near you when you call. Have recent tax returns on hand as well, as you will likely need these.
Online Viewing Tips
Each time you use the Get Transcript Online service, you need your username, password and the unique security code texted to you when you log in to view transcripts. Enter your address and other information exactly as written on your tax returns to view your online transcripts. Check that you’re not blocking pop-ups when you click on the tax year to view the associated transcript.