Frequently Asked Tax Questions (Issue #3; 12 January 2009)
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Frequently Asked Tax Questions (Issue #3; 12 January 2009) If you have questions, please contact Rudy Wartella at the Torii Station Legal Assistance Office: Rudolph.Wartella@us.army.mil. Q: Where can I get a copy of my tax return? A. The Torii Station Legal assistance office and both of our tax centers receive many requests from individuals needing copies of past tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service not only provides copies of old tax returns, but it also offers transcripts. Depending upon your situation, a transcript may be better than requesting a copy of your tax return. Q: How do I request a copy of my tax return from the IRS? A. Form 4506 Request for Copy of Tax Return, must be filled out to receive an actual copy of an old tax return. Available on the IRS website at www.irs.gov, this form must be mailed in along with $57.00 for each tax return requested. Copies can be requested for the current year’s tax return and any from the previous six years. This process is lengthy and can take up to 60 calendar days. Q: How can I get a copy of a transcript? A. The IRS allows you to request a transcript by mail or by phone. To request a transcript by mail, fill out Form 4506-T (PDF), Request for Transcript of Tax Return, and mail it to the IRS. Under this method, a transcript will be received within two weeks. To request a transcript by phone, call 1-800-829-1040, follow the prompts, and get a transcript faxed to you within a matter of days. Q: Why would I want a transcript instead of a copy of my tax return? A. Transcripts are quick and free, your circumstances will determine what is best for you. For example, individuals sponsoring a spouse or another individual for an immigrant visa are required to fill out Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. I-864 requires sponsors to attach either a copy of last year’s tax return, along with W -2s, or an IRS transcript. In this case, you could obtain a copy of your transcript more quickly than a copy of your tax return. Q: Should I keep a copy of my tax return? A. Yes, keep a copy of your tax return and other documents that you file. The IRS recommends keeping tax returns for three years. In some situations, individuals should keep them for a longer period of time. For more information, visit the IRS website, consult your local tax center, or speak with a legal assistance attorney. January 2009.