Tax Question – Copy of Tax Return

Question: Our attorney requested a copy of a tax return related to a lawsuit.  It has been three months now with no response from the IRS.  The trial is around the corner and the attorney seems confused as to why the IRS has not responded.  I did know if this was normal for the IRS, if there was special procedures to obtain such paperwork which the attorney is not aware of, or something else you might know of that we haven’t even thought of yet.  Answer: This does not surprise me.  It does take the IRS awhile to send a copy of the original return.  Form 4506, Request of Copy of Tax Return, is used to request an original return.  According to the general instructions, the IRS states it could take up to 60 days.  But I have experienced longer.

The attorney can request a 2007 1040 tax return transcript.  This is not as good as the original return, however, the transcript may provide sufficient information needed before trial.  There are two options for requesting the tax return transcript.

Option 1 – Attorney prepares and submits Form 4506-T requesting the 2007 tax return transcript.  It will take about 30 days to get the transcript.

Option 2 – Attorney fills out Form 2848, Power of Attorney.  Then he or she calls the practitioner line, 866-860-4259, and verbally request the 2007 tax return transcript.  The IRS will ask the attorney to fax Form 2848 for proof that he or she is authorized to make the request.  The IRS will then fax the transcript to the attorney within 24 hours.  While the attorney is on the line with the IRS, he or she can ask for a status update on obtaining a copy of the original return.