IRS transcripts are notorious for being extremely complexed and very hard to follow. So in many cases, the IRS will tell you that ordering a Tax Transcript can not help you get your refund any faster. This is true in a way because ordering the tax transcript will not speed up the process of getting a tax refund. But the coding and transactions that have occurred and posted to the account transcript can be pretty useful for someone who has been waiting for longer than 30 days and has not been able to figure out what is holding their tax return up.
Transcripts are used more in Tax Resolution work, but they can also be helpful in tax preparation, too. Here are some ways you can start implementing the use of transcripts.
- Waiting Longer Than 30 Days For an Update: The transaction codes that have occurred and posted to the account transcript can be pretty useful for someone who has been waiting for longer than 30 days and has not been able to figure out what is holding their tax return up.
- Track Letters & Notices: If the IRS is sending you a notice, the notice will show up as one of the line items on your account transcripts.
- Help Prevent Tax Return Fraud: One way you can help reduce tax return fraud is by being familiar with your transcripts. If a tax return has been filed with your information, it will show up on your account transcript as a line item. If you haven’t filed a return yet, this is a good indication that someone else has used your information for tax fraud. Checking your transcripts regularly could help prevent a fraudulent tax return from going any further by alerting the IRS as soon as you see the suspicious line item on the transcript. The damage done by the fraudulent claim will be significantly less if the refund money hasn’t been paid out yet. Taxpayers who fall victim to tax fraud have to wait longer to get their refunds— the typical identity theft case usually takes around 180 days to resolve. Some cases can take up to a year.
These are just a few of the reasons you should have a Secure Online Access to the IRS “Get Transcripts” tool and be following your account transcripts closely.
Go Online to Get Transcripts by Mail or Call the IRS Direct
- Request an account transcript by going online or calling the IRS directly at FREE, or by filing Form 4506T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return.
- The IRS does not charge a fee for transcripts.
- Ordinary turnaround time is between 5-10 Business Days.
Here is an Account Transcript
At the top right of the transcript is the date of request and date of response and the tax period covered by the transcript.
Check the taxpayer-identification numbers below that, as well as the taxpayer name or names, to make sure they are accurate.
The transcript next lists the account balance, meaning the tax liability due and still outstanding. Following that is the interest and penalties, if any, levied on the balance and the most current date of these levies.
The next section lists basic calculations from the return you submitted to the IRS. Included in that are the number of exemptions, the adjusted gross income, the taxable income, and the total tax liability. Following these calculations is the amount of self-employment tax owed by yourself and your spouse. These amounts may have been adjusted by you with an amendment to the return or by the IRS, according to its records and corrections.
The transcript next gives the date on which the return was due or received, whichever was later.
The final section lists transactions for the tax period, including the tax assessment amount and date, payments made and their dates, and any credits or refunds made and their date(s).