Tracking Down Tax Transcripts

Many green card petitions will require at least one tax tax transcript at some point in the process. For example, most sponsors on an Affidavit of Support must submit their tax transcript for the most recent year, and should be prepared to submit their transcripts for the most recent three years (unless exempt from filing a tax return). In cases where copies of tax returns or transcripts are not available, the IRS provides several options for obtaining these documents.

IRS Form 4056 can be used to designate a thrd party to receive a copy of a specific tax return. Form 4056-T may also be used to obtain a copy of a tax transcript. The IRS doesn’t specify that Form 4056-T can be used by third parties, but at least one bank uses it to conduct due diligence on loan applicants. Sponsors may also want to consider filing Form 4056-T-EZ to obtain copies of all W-2s and 1099s.

Sponsors may also be able to use the IRS’s online feature to request transcripts. To use this feature, they will need to register for the service using the following tools and data:

  • Social Security Number, date of birth, filing status and mailing address from latest tax return,
  • an email account,
  • a personal account number from a credit card, mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit or car loan, and
  • a mobile phone with their name on the account.

Alternatively, the IRS appears to have an online/mail hybrid, in which a sponsor could submit the request online and receive the results by mail. To use this method, a sponsor only needs his or her SSN, date of birth, and the address used for filing his or her last tax return.

If none of these services works, you may also be able to request a tax return by phone by calling 800-908-9946. For additional information you can consult the IRS’s FAQs.

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