Selector for IRS Transcript to receive Taxpayer Transcript Reports by the year

How and Why to Obtain Your IRS Taxpayer Transcripts

  • IRS tax transcripts are important documents that provide detailed information about a taxpayer’s tax return and account.

  • IRS tax transcripts allow a taxpayer, as well as a tax attorney representing a taxpayer to know what information the IRS has, as well as what tax filings are complete or missing

  • Obtaining your transcripts is the first step in catching up if you have back taxes to “catch up on” and file to become compliant.

If you’re reading this page, it’s likely you found it from an online search or a request by my office to obtain your IRS transcripts.

If we asked for your transcripts, and you would rather have us obtain them, we will have you sign an authorization form and we can obtain your taxpayer information. However, in the interest of saving clients’ money and time, it’s often better for the taxpayer to obtain them.

Having my office obtain the IRS tax transcripts takes longer because we have to go through the authorization process to do so, and it doesn’t always work (~80% success rate), so it often saves the taxpayer money and time performing the task.

Navigating the complex world of tax documentation can be daunting for many taxpayers. One of the essential documents you might need as a taxpayer is an IRS tax transcript.

There are several key reasons why a taxpayer may want to obtain their IRS tax transcripts:

Verifying Tax Return Accuracy: Tax transcripts can be used to double-check the information on a tax return, ensuring it is complete and accurate. This can help avoid potential issues or delays with the IRS. 

Applying for Loans or Benefits: Transcripts may be required when applying for a mortgage, student loans, or government benefits, as they provide a consolidated summary of a taxpayer’s tax information. 

Tracking Tax Account Changes: Account transcripts show any changes made to a tax return after it was filed, such as additional payments or adjustments. This can be helpful for taxpayers to monitor their account. 

Obtaining Income Documentation: Wage and income transcripts list the income forms (W-2s, 1099s, etc.) reported to the IRS, which can be useful if a taxpayer is missing these documents. 

To obtain IRS tax transcripts, taxpayers can request them online through their IRS account, by phone, or by mail using Form 4506-T.  The fastest way generally is right online at the IRS website

IRS website button to get taxpayer transcripts

Once at, you will click the blue button “Get transcript online.”

From there, you will be required to verify your identity with “” Generally the process is relatively easy, as you’ll be asked questions you are the only one who knows (Although, it wouldn’t be a surprise if one spouse can answer the questions for the other if you’ve been married as long as I have).

IRS transcript ID green and white verification button

The next step once you’re setup with is to receive a code by phone or text.

IRS transcript ID.Me username and password to log in

After having your identification confirmed, you will reach a page that asks for the purpose of the transcripts. “Select a reason you need a transcript:” any answer is fine and doesn’t impact your ability to obtain transcripts (in the context you don’t require any reason beyond you want to obtain your information). That said, your selection does impact the options available and for that reason, I suggest “Federal Tax” as that will provide the most options available. You don’t need to enter anything for Customer File Number if you’re obtaining transcripts for yourself.

IRS transcript type selector button

Once you select Federal Tax and arrive at the next screen, you will see transcript tax years under several categories.
Selector for IRS Transcript to receive Taxpayer Transcript Reports by the year
Return Transcript includes the key information on your previous tax returns.
Record of Account Transcript will show amounts owed or refund for any given year along with other relevant information, including penalties and interest, if any.
Account Transcript is similar to Record of Account Transcript in so much as it provides related information.
And finally, you have Wage & Income Transcript that informs the taxpayer what the IRS has for information regarding the taxpayer, such as 1099s, W2s, etc…
You can select any year that is appropriate for your records and/or information. If you have been asked by me to obtain transcripts, you will want to save all available transcripts available, and organize them in folders, using the naming convention of (for example) “Account Transcript 2022” for each document.
Do NOT save them as is, without naming each document as the type of document and the year, unless you want my office to so so (which increases the cost as an accountant in my office will have to do so to keep it organized as a ‘bookkeeping’ expense).
Alternatively, you can have the IRS Tax Transcripts mailed to you. This is the slow method, albeit sometimes, for whatever reason, the only method available. The transcripts are typically delivered within 5-10 business days.
In summary, IRS tax transcripts provide valuable information that can help taxpayers ensure the accuracy of their returns, track their tax accounts, and obtain necessary documentation – making them a useful tool for any taxpayer.