The IRS is doing all it can to ease the burden on its call center employees by redirecting callers to the IRS website for certain questions and requests. One very common request can now be fulfilled without live operator assistance: ordering transcripts. In fact, the IRS is making it very difficult to obtain transcripts in any other way these days. The IRS recently rolled out “Get Transcript” which is a handy way to order any of the following:
- Tax Return Transcripts – shows your 1040 tax return entries line by line as filed
- Tax Account Transcripts – shows basic data about adjustments made after a return is filed
- Record of Account – more or less complete IRS tax account information
- Wage & Income Docs – shows data from 1099s, W-2s, and other information returns
- Verification of Nonfiling Letter – exactly what it sounds like; proof that you did not file a particular year
You’re not going to be able to just hop on and order transcripts though. If it’s your first time, you’ll have to register first. The registration process is just a little tedious:
- click on “Create an Account”
- enter full name and email address
- retrieve and submit email confirmation code (the code expires in 30 minutes)
- enter additional personal information, including social security number, date of birth, and address
- verify some credit info
- select a site picture and site phrase
- verification questions: try to remember the name of your first dog, the name of your elementary school, the make & model of your first car, etc.
- and BAM, you’re in!
Various tax years are shown and all you do is click on the one you want to see. My own account transcripts were available only back to 2009. Wage & income docs were available back to 2004. It does appear to be a little buggy. One time instead of transcripts I got a full page of code: 6��R�p+>�F��M�E(���b-‘� 2o�y�6��7la�ߏn�0$�0�w�> . Also, at least one attorney (a former IRS attorney) is nervous about the potential for more identity theft, although I don’t know how concerned I am about that after such a detailed account setup process.