What is an IRS tax return transcript?


Quick Answer

A tax return transcript is a computer-generated record of a tax return, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The tax return transcript includes most of the line items for the tax return filed, including schedules and forms, and it is available for instant download from the IRS website.

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Full Answer

While many taxpayers request a copy of their prior year tax returns when they are in need of documentation, a tax transcript can often suffice instead, notes the IRS. Still, taxpayers should be aware that a transcript of the prior year’s tax return does not show any changes that were made by the IRS, the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s personal representative after the return was filed.

To gain access to a tax return transcript online, the taxpayer must have a Social Security number and access to an email address, advises the IRS. The taxpayer must answer questions related to his personal and tax information as a means of proving his identity. Taxpayers who have previously registered on the IRS website must log in to the site using their existing user IDs and passwords.

Transcripts are also available by mail, notes the IRS. To get a transcript by mail, taxpayers must provide their Social Security numbers, address used on the last tax return and birthdate.

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