Tax Dictionary – IRS Transcript

IRS Definition:

The IRS has five types of transcripts:

  • Tax Return Transcript – shows most line items including your adjusted gross income (AGI) from your original tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as filed, along with any forms and schedules. It doesn’t show changes made after you filed your original return.
  • Tax Account Transcript – shows basic data such as return type, marital status, adjusted gross income, taxable income and all payment types. It also shows changes made after you filed your original return.
  • Record of Account Transcript – combines the tax return and tax account transcripts above into one complete transcript.
  • Wage and Income Transcript – shows data from information returns we receive such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1098 and Form 5498, IRA Contribution Information. Current tax year information may not be complete until July.
  • Verification of Non-filing Letter – provides proof that the IRS has no record of a filed Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ for the year you requested. It doesn’t indicate whether you were required to file a return for that year.

More from H&R Block:

There are five types of IRS transcripts, which you can access online or request by phone or mail:

1. An account transcript provides an overview of your account.

Account transcripts show filings, extensions, withholding, credits and any follow-up transactions on your account, including penalties, assessments, IRS inquiries and other account activity. Basically, if there have been any IRS actions on your account, they will appear on this transcript.

2. A return transcript shows most lines from your original tax return as the IRS processed it.

Changes made to the return after it was processed are not reflected, including any amended returns you may have filed. If you need a copy of your tax return for any reason, such as a loan or financial aid application, this is the transcript to use.

3. A record of account transcript is simply a combination of the account and return transcripts.

The IRS makes this available because it shows the big picture, from your original return filed to any changes made to the return after processing.

4. A wage and income transcript provides a listing of information statements (Forms W-2, 1099) that show income reported to the IRS under your Social Security Number.

You can use this transcript to help file an extended tax return, verify employment, or keep a personal record of income.

5. A verification of nonfiling letter is a transcript that is automatically produced when the IRS doesn’t have your return on file or hasn’t processed your filed return yet.

What do the transaction codes mean on account transcripts?

Transcript transaction codes represent actions on your IRS account. They provide a literal description of the action. For routine filers with no post-filing compliance activity, account transcripts are typically easy to interpret. But if you have post-filing compliance activity, such as tax notices and correspondence with the IRS, transcripts can be confusing.

Learn how to research your IRS account — or authorize a tax pro to communicate with the IRS for you.

Related Topics

Related Resources

Tax Dictionary – IRS Penalty Abatement Request Letter

Get the facts from the experts at H&R Block about the specific items you should include in an IRS penalty abatement request letter.

IRS Notice CP42 – The IRS Applied Your Refund to Taxes Owed

Learn more about form CP42, why you received it, and how to handle an IRS balance due with help from the tax experts at H&R Block.

Tax Dictionary – Tax Account Information

The IRS has a variety of transcripts that contain your tax account information. Read the IRS definition and get more insight from the experts at H&R Block.

Tax Dictionary – Employment Tax Audit

Learn more about employment tax audits. Read the IRS definition and get more insight from the tax experts at H&R Block.