DEFINITION of 'Form 4506'

A tax form distributed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and used to a request a copy of a previously filed tax return. Taxpayers can have a copy of most forms, including forms 1040, 1120 and 941, sent to them. Any attachments to those forms, such as a W-2, are also sent. The IRS typically keeps tax returns for seven years before destroying them.

BREAKING DOWN 'Form 4506'

Third party tax preparers can usually provide a copy of past returns to taxpayers who've paid to have their taxes filed for them. Taxpayers can also request a tax return transcript, which contains most of the useful information found on the full tax return, including information that will be of interest to companies requiring tax return information, such as mortgage companies.

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