How Fast Can I Get Latest Tax Return Transcript

Get Transcript tool on the IRS website is a big helper when you need to provide a financial institution or a lender with your tax history. 

It’s fast to obtain tax transcripts, and you can get them almost instantly. However, this instantaneous retrieval mostly applies to tax transcripts that are already there. If you look up your 2020 tax transcript in mid-2020 when months have passed since you filed, you’ll see it instantly. This isn’t always the case with the current tax season’s tax transcripts. You’re bound to wait even after getting your refund, but luckily, it isn’t that long. 

This article will help you get an idea of when you might be able to get your tax transcript for the most recent tax year you’ve filed based on the filing date. 

IRS processing times matter

How soon you’re going to get your most recent tax transcript on the Get Transcript Online tool depends entirely on how fast the IRS processes it. 

Once the IRS processes it and issues your refund or determines how much you owe, you’ll see the transcript on the online tool in about five to ten days. Though this can take longer, most tax returns shouldn’t take long, especially if categorized as simple. 

Online vs. mail tax transcript 

As for the method of retrieving your tax transcript, there isn’t a difference. The same also goes for how you choose to request them. There isn’t also no difference in how long you’ll wait for your tax transcript to be available, though it is obviously later with mailed requests when you get it. Use Form 4506-T to get your tax transcript.

For mailed requests, you can expect to wait between one and two weeks for the tax transcripts to arrive. 

Tax transcript vs. the copy of tax return

The primary reason taxpayers request their tax transcripts is to document their adjusted gross income. One of the most commonly asked questions by taxpayers is when requesting their tax transcripts is whether or not it’s documented there. 

If the reason for your request is to get your adjusted gross income for that tax year, see taxes owed and refund, and other simple money amounts, a tax transcript will be sufficient enough. A copy of your tax return includes everything in full. It has all the tax forms you filed and comes with a cost. 

Additionally, your copy of your tax return isn’t free. The IRS charges $50 per copy. Even if you request multiple copies of the same tax year, you’ll have to pay $50 for each copy you request, whereas tax transcripts are free of charge. Get your tax return copy using Form 4506.


  1. Was my income tax return 1040 mailed to Austin, Texas received It was mailed on 2/04/2022?

    1. Hi Albert,

      It looks like you should be able to get your 2021 transcript. Did you check the Get Transcript Online?

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