What Is An IRS transcript?

A IRS Transcript summarizes tax information that was reported to the IRS.  Transcripts are often necessary when applying for home mortgages or college financial aid.  They may also be needed if one want to file an “old” tax return and have lost or misplaced their original documents (i.e. W2s, 1099-MISC, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, etc).  They are also used when a person has tax debt and needs to perform analysis to determine their CSED.

Transcript Types

The IRS offers the following transcript types to taxpayers at no charge (with the exception of an actual copy of your return noted at the bottom of this post):

  • Tax Return Transcript – This transcript (see example) shows most line items including the adjusted gross income (AGI) from your original tax return along with any forms and schedules. It doesn’t show changes made after you filed your original return. This transcript is only available for the current tax year and returns processed during the prior three years. A tax return transcript usually meets the needs of lending institutions offering mortg