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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

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Copy of income tax return

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I signed up for a tax planning appointment on your Web site but is says that the planning starts with a review of last year's tax return. I do not have a copy of my last tax return. How do I get a copy?

A: There are two ways to get a copy of your federal income tax return. Free transcripts are available from the IRS and takes about two weeks for delivery by mail. A transcript contains the data included on the return, but is not an actual copy of the physical paper return. Call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to request a free transcript. Keep in mind that the IRS will deliver the transcript to the last address of record (the address on your last tax return or address update form) so if you moved recently this could be a problem. If you filed a paper return and want a photocopy of that return, the IRS charges a fee of $39 and delivery takes longer. Send the IRS a completed Form 4506-T with the fee. Some lenders require the copy of tax return and will not accept a transcript. For financial planning purposes, either format will work so it makes sense to use the transcript. It is best to schedule your tax planning appointment after receiving the copy.


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