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How to View Past Tax Returns

Updated December 15, 2016

If you're like most people, you likely dislike doing your taxes and want to put the whole affair out of your head as soon as it's done each year. However, a variety of reasons may require you to view past tax returns. If you did not print out your previous tax returns, you will need to do some searching online.

Log onto the website of the tax preparation program you used to file your taxes, if you used one. Two common tax preparation programs, TaxACT and Turbo Tax, allow you to access previous years' tax returns if you filed your returns using their products. You can simply view the returns, or print them if you need to from here.

Visit the Internal Revenue Service if you did not use a tax preparation program that provides old tax returns. In the search window, type in "Form 4506".

Download Form 4506, complete it according to the instructions on the form and send it back with payment ($39 as of 2010 for each tax return sought). Wait to receive a photocopy of your return. This can take up to 60 days.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access
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About the Author

Cynthia Gomez has been writing and editing professionally for more than a decade. She is currently an editor at a major publishing company, where she works on various trade journals. Gomez also spent many years working as a newspaper reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.