Best Way to Access Your Past Tax Returns Online in 2024

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Written By kevin

A financial strategist with a knack for demystifying taxes and insurance, Kevin distills complex concepts into actionable advice.

If you’re one of the many individuals who dread the annual task of sifting through mountains of paperwork to find your past tax returns, this article is for you. In the digital age, accessing your past tax returns has become a breeze. You can now access your tax returns online with a few simple steps.

Step 1: Gather Your Information

Before you embark on the journey to access your past tax returns online, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary information. This includes your Social Security number, date of birth, and filing status. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires this information to verify your identity and ensure that only authorized individuals are granted access.

Step 2: Choose Your Preferred Method

The IRS offers two methods for obtaining your past tax returns online: the ‘Get Transcript Online‘ and ‘Get Transcript by Mail‘ options. The former provides instant access, while the latter involves sending physical copies via mail.

Option 1: Get Transcript Online

To access past tax returns on TurboTax or any other online platform, visit the official IRS website at Click on “Get Your Tax Record,” followed by “Get Transcript Online.” You’ll then need to provide verification information, which includes personal details such as your name, social security number, and address.

It’s important to note that not all transcript types may be available online. However, they typically include both federal income tax return transcripts (Form W-2) and financial account transcripts (mortgage payments and credit card debt).

Option 2: Get Transcript by Mail

If you prefer receiving hard copies or didn’t qualify for the instant retrieval option, you can opt for the ‘Get Transcript By Mail‘ service. To do this, you can either navigate through their website or call the toll-free phone number provided on their site. This will allow you to obtain an authenticated copy directly from the IRS within five to ten business days.

Step 3: Wait

If you choose the ‘Get Transcript by Mail’ option, be prepared to wait for about five to ten days before receiving your copy of the transcript. Once received, confirm that all information is correct and store it in a safe place.

In conclusion, accessing your past tax returns has never been easier, thanks to the online services offered by the IRS. Follow these simple steps outlined in this article to access your past tax returns today!


How far back can I access my past tax returns online?

You can access your previous year tax return transcripts or summaries for the current year and up to three prior years through the IRS Get Transcript tool. If you need a copy of your actual filed and processed tax return, it is available for up to six years after filing.

Is there a fee charged for accessing past tax returns online?

No, the IRS does not charge a fee for online access to previous tax returns. You can use their Get Transcript tool, which allows you to view and print transcripts of your past income tax returns at no cost.

How can I access my past tax returns online in 2024?

The IRS provides a service, called “Get Transcript Online,” which allows taxpayers to access their tax return transcripts for the past 10 years. You’ll need to create an account on and provide some personal information for verification.

Is it safe to access my tax returns online?

Yes, the IRS website is secure. The IRS uses encrypted connections to protect your personal information during transmission, and your individual tax data is only accessible with your authorization.