Tax returns are used for many purposes in addition to filing taxes. Tax returns are required for loan applications, professional license applications, business appraisals, divorce proceedings, and other situations where financial disclosures are required. Lenders and attorneys frequently request copies of tax returns from clients or other parties. When a copy of a tax return is provided, the lender or attorney should confirm that the return is signed by the tax payer in addition to being stamped “Client Copy.” The signature of the tax payer is the declaration of the tax payer under penalty of perjury that the tax return is true, correct, and complete. If the copy provided is not signed, the tax payer should be required to sign it. If there is any reason to believe that the provided tax return is altered or inaccurate, the tax payer should be required to request the IRS to provide a copy of the tax return to the lender or attorney. In some cases, a tax return transcript from the IRS may be sufficient to verify the numbers on a tax return copy provided by the tax payer.

Here is how the tax payer can get a federal tax return from the IRS:

    • A tax return copy is a copy of your filed and processed tax return. The cost is $50 for each tax year. You should complete Form 4506, Request for Copy of Tax Return, to make the request. Mail it to the IRS address listed on the form. Copies are generally available for the current year and past six years. You should allow 75 days for delivery. The tax payer may request the copies be provided to a third party.
    • tax return transcript is a summary of the tax return that you filed. It also includes items from any accompanying forms and schedules that you filed. It doesn’t reflect any changes you or the IRS made after you filed your original return.Transcripts are free. You can get them for the current year and the past three years.
    • tax account transcript includes your marital status, the type of return you filed, your adjusted gross income and taxable income. It also includes any changes that you or the IRS made to your tax return after you filed it.
    • The quickest way to get a copy of your tax transcript is to use the Get Transcript Once you verify your identity, you will be able to view and print your transcript immediately online. This Fact Sheet provides details on how to complete this step.
    • If you’re unable or prefer not to use Get Transcript Online, you may order a tax return transcript and/or a tax account transcript using the online tool Get Transcript by Mail or by calling 800-908-9946. Transcripts arrive at the address we have on file for you in five to 10 calendar days from the time IRS receives your request.
    • Businesses that need a tax account transcript should use Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.

You can get tax forms anytime at forms.