A financial situation as come up where you need copies of your federal income tax return and it's of the utmost importance you get the information as soon as you can.
Unfortunately you have no idea where you or your spouse placed the "important papers" of the household. You called your tax accountant and he just happens to be on vacation.
What do you do?
There are a couple of options that are available to you. There are tax account transcripts and tax return transcripts.
The tax account transcript is the best of the two because it will include any adjustments that were made after you filed. The type of information included are your adjusted gross income, taxable income, your marginal status and whether you filed a long or short form 1040.
The tax return transcript will show line items from any of the three types of forms for filing a federal return. They are the 1040 EZ, 1040A and the Form 1040. Usually the tax return transcript would be sufficient if you need proof to apply for a bank loan.
You can request either type of transcript by mail or by phone. The phone number is 1-800-829-1040. If you wish to request a transcript by mail you'll need the IRS address that pertains to your specific area. If you need a photocopy of a previously processed tax return request Form 4506 which is a Request for Copy of Tax Form.
As with most things, there is a fee of about $ 40 you'll need to pay for each tax period you request.
Of course to avoid having to go through all of this, please keep your income tax papers in a safe location where you're able to redeem them when you need them.