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A Short Guide to IRS Transcripts

By December 2, 2020December 8th, 2020No Comments

Are you behind on your taxes? Are you wondering whether or not your income has been reported correctly? Do you want to know if you owe money to the IRS for a past years’ worth of filing, but aren’t sure how much? The answers to all of these questions and more can be found in an IRS transcript. The IRS provides several different types of transcripts, each of which serves a certain specific purpose. However, many people don’t even know that they exist or are available to them because they’ve never needed to check out the information that the IRS has compiled on them and their income. It’s important to know that it’s within your rights to obtain and review these IRS transcripts, and more importantly, you have the authority to hire an expert to not only help you get the transcript but to also understand it. We are going to clear up some of the mystery here, including addressing plenty of the intricate (and interesting) details about IRS transcripts.

What Is an IRS Transcript?

As IRS transcript is kind of like a grade transcript that you received back when you were in school. Only, instead of summarizing your grades in each class, the IRS transcript summarizes your tax information. Depending on the type of transcript that you choose (and based on which type the school or mortgage lender needs), you’ll receive a shortened version of your tax return forms that can be used to verify your information, including income.

Are There Different Types of Transcripts?

In fact, yes, there are two different types of IRS transcripts that you can ask for and obtain. They are:

  • Tax Return Transcripts – A tax return transcript is available for the current tax year, as well as the past three tax years. You cannot request one from a date that’s any further back in the past. These transcripts provide a quick summary of your financial information, including your adjusted gross income. They also list any of the schedules and forms that you filed along with your tax return, but won’t include any changes or amendments made to your tax return after the fact. They help you verify your income and are often enough to make a school or mortgage lender happy should you not be able to provide your actual tax returns.
  • Tax Account Transcripts – A tax account transcript is a bit different. This form actually shows the changes or amendments made to a tax return. It also contains very basic information about your tax return, such as your taxable income, your adjusted gross income, your marital status, and even the type of return that you filed. In addition, the account transcript lists your payment methods, showing which accounts you’ve used to make payments to the IRS. This type of form is good if you’re being audited or need to show evidence of prior payments made to the IRS.

How Can I Request My IRS Transcript?

There are several different ways to request an IRS transcript. You can fill out a 4506-T or 4506T-EZ form and send it via mail. The IRS mailing address is listed on the form. Make sure to fill out the form in its entirety and sign it. Your spouse may have to sign it as well if they are listed on the return. You can also request a transcript over the phone. Calling the IRS’ 1-800 number is a simple way to do so. They will mail the transcript straight to you. Requesting a transcript online through the IRS website results in the same thing. On top of these user-friendly options, you can also go to your local IRS office in person and request a transcript directly. This works best if you need the transcript quickly, as it can take some time to mail it to you after processing your request. While this initial step may seem easy, this is often a complicated process that can be simplified by retaining a tax professional to help guide you through each step.

Will I Be Penalized for Requesting an IRS Transcript?

The short answer here is no – you will never be penalized for requesting an IRS transcript. This information is available to you upon request. After all, it’s your information that you provided to the IRS. If you need a transcript, you simply need to request one. They will not charge you, nor fine you for asking for it. It’s especially important to note that anyone who does ask for money in exchange for obtaining an IRS transcript for you is involved in a scam. Instead, go directly through the IRS or your trusted tax preparer or professional. They will get you the official documents you need, whether it’s a return transcript or an account transcript, with very few questions, and those that are asked are only in place to verify your identity.

What If I Need My Tax Return Itself?

We understand that there are times when a tax return or tax account transcript simply won’t be enough. If you need a full copy of your tax return, you’ll need to request it from the IRS. They charge $50 per return and can provide the current tax years’, as well as the those from the last six years.

If you need your IRS transcript, please reach out to the tax advisors at the Enterprise Consultants Group. We can answer your questions, help you obtain the transcript, and explain the many different types of information on it. We’re here to help you. Please contact us online or at (800) 575-9284 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to see how we can help you.

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