All You Need To Know About Getting a Tax Transcript Online

All You Need To Know About Getting a Tax Transcript Online

The importance of keeping a copy of your tax returns cannot be overemphasized; they can help you prepare future tax returns, and are also helpful when you want to amend a prior year’s tax return. You will need them as well when applying for a loan to buy a new car or start a business. Not that alone, they might be requested for when applying for student financial aid. Perhaps you can't find a copy of your tax returns anymore, you can request for a PDF version or a paper copy of it right from the IRS portal. 

The process of getting your tax transcript online is quite simple and free. You can get the transcript for the current year and the past three years. Most times, a tax transcript contains the tax information you need.

A tax return transcript simply refers to a summary of the tax return that you filed. It also features your marital status, the type of return you filed, your adjusted gross income and taxable income. It also shows any changes that you or the IRS made to your tax return after you filed it.

However, it must be noted that a tax transcript is different from a copy of your tax return; If you want to request for a transcript, you will need to call the IRS and you will get it in your mail. On the other hand, if what you need is just a copy instead of a transcript, file Form 4506 instead.

What are the types of transcripts from the IRS?

Taxpayers can get two types of transcripts from the IRS:

1. Tax Return Transcript  

A tax return transcript shows most line items including AGI from an original tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as filed, along with any forms and schedules. It doesn’t show changes made after the filing of the original return. This transcript is only available for the current tax year and returns processed during the prior three years. A tax return transcript usually meets the needs of lending institutions offering mortgages and student loans.

2. Tax Account Transcript  

A tax account transcript shows basic data such as return type, marital status, adjusted gross income, taxable income and all payment types. It also shows changes made after the filing of the original return.

Here's how to get a transcript online. 

Step-by-step guide on how to get a Tax Transcript Online 

1. Create an account

Visit IRS portal ( and Click on "Get Your Tax Record," and then click on "Get Transcript Online or Get Transcript by Mail."


For you to create an account at, you will be requested to provide the following:

  • Your full name
  • Email
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN)
  • Tax filing status (single, married, etc.)
  • Mailing address used on the last tax return
  • Mobile phone number that accepts texts

2. Verify your new account 

After filling the necessary details on the registration page, another page will load and you'll be requested to verify your account using the verification code sent to you after registration. Just type the code into the given box and your account will be verified immediately. 

3. Fill in your account number 

In a bid to prove your identity, you'll be requested to provide your account number from any of the following:  credit card, mortgage, home equity loan, or car loan. 

4. Choose why you need the transcript

You will be asked the main reason you are requesting a transcript. Some of the available options are "Student Aid," "Mortgage Application," or "Income Verification."

5. Choose the tax year that you want the transcript for

The portal will display the list of years that their transcript is available (usually the 3 previous years). So, click on the year on the year that you want. 

6. Download the PDF file

After filling out all of the necessary information, you will be provided with a PDF. Download it and save it to your computer so as to have the soft copy on your computer. You can also print it out to keep a physical copy for record purpose. 

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