Tax Returns vs. Tax Records
A tax return is the exact paper or electronic form you sent to the IRS to file your taxes. A copy of your tax return allows you to see all the information you entered, including and your signature if you filed on paper. You may want to request a copy of your tax return if you think the IRS made an error.
A tax record—sometimes called a tax transcript—is a free summary of the taxes you’ve filed and any payments you’ve made (or need to make) to the IRS. This information is needed when applying for some loans. You may also want this tax information for your own record-keeping—such as your past adjusted gross income (AGI) or filing status (such as single or “married filing jointly”).
Which one do I need?
In most cases, you will only need to get a tax record. You can request free tax records online.
If you do need a copy of your tax return, please download and complete Form 4506. You will also have to pay a $50 fee.
Page last updated: 9/19/2016