If you find yourself needing a copy of your last year’s tax return you can get that information a number of ways.
Check with your last year’s tax preparer
First check with your last year’s tax preparer or login to your tax software you used. Most tax preparers can provide you a copy of a tax return that you prepared with them. In the same way, if you prepared your taxes yourself using a software program, you can usually download a copy by logging back into your account.
Request a free transcript from the IRS
If you cannot reach out to your last year tax preparer or getting a copy from them or the software company is not an option, your second option is to contact the IRS and request a free “transcript” of your tax return. The document that you can get from the IRS has most of the information that would be on the tax return you submitted to the IRS. This may be done online (https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript) or by using the IRS’ automated phone service at 800-908-9946. You need to request the “Return Transcript” and you can get it sent electronically or by physical mail. Please be aware that if you do not specify, the transcript will be redacted. This means that many of the sensitive information like your social security number and any of your employer’s EIN (Employer Identification Numbers) will be blacked out. This transcript will be good enough for most organizations that are requesting a copy of your tax return but it is a good idea to check with who is requesting the return.
Obtain a copy of your tax return
If you need an exact copy of your tax return and documents (with the SSNs and EINs visible), the IRS can provide that to you. You will need to file a form 4506 with the IRS and the IRS does charge a small fee to have this packet mailed to you. You can download a copy of the form here: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506.pdf