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How to Find IRS Documents Online

December 11, 2015

Most taxpayers take the utmost care in storing their tax documents. But sometimes, theft, natural disasters, or negligence can lead to losing tax documents. If you cannot find your past tax returns or other tax documents, there are ways to get tax return transcripts and tax account transcripts from the IRS. The agency also provides downloadable tax forms and publications and offers assistance to taxpayers in determining the status of their tax refunds and amended returns.

Request a Transcript

You can get the transcript of your current year’s tax return or returns that have been filed in the previous three years. To order the transcript or line-by-line return information for a tax year, you can make a request online or by phone. To send in a request online, you may use IRS ‘Get Transcript’ service at The transcripts will arrive by mail at the address that you have provided to the IRS within five to ten days.

If you want a copy of your tax return, you will need to file Form 4506, Request for Copy of Return. Forms related to Form 4506 that you may use are:
• Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return
• Form 4506-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript

Either a transcript or a copy of the return acts as a satisfactory record in case of an audit.

Where’s My Amended Return?

If you filed an amended return and did not receive communication from the IRS, you can check the status of your Form 1040X amended return online at for the current year, and up to three previous years.

Generally, the IRS processes an amended return in up to 16 weeks. However, the amended return can be verified in their system within three weeks. In other words, you may check the status of your amended return three weeks after mailing it to the IRS.

Where’s My Refund?

Similar to ‘Where’s My Amended Return?’ this service allows taxpayers to check the status of their refund online. You can check the status of your electronically filed tax return within 24 hours after sending it. For paper returns, the waiting period is 4 weeks from the date of mailing the return. To check the status, you need your Social Security Number or ITIN, filing status, and the exact refund amount. ‘Where’s My Refund?’ service is available at the IRS website –

IRS Forms and Publications

You can find downloadable and printable IRS forms and publications at the IRS website. Forms such as Form 1040, Form W-9, Form 4506-T, Form 1040-ES, Form 1040 Schedule A, and many more can be easily downloaded or printed. You can also access the prior year’s tax forms and publications.

Also available are accessible forms and publications such as disability-related products, large print format, and Braille and text formats. There are also IRS ebooks on tax instructions and publications available for download.