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4506 Tax Form

A 4506 tax form is required when taxpayers need a copy of previously filed tax returns. The form 4506 can be used by individuals or businesses or to authorize release of tax files to a third party such as accountants, CPAs, bankruptcy attorneys, lenders or probate executor.

When a third party uses the 4506 tax form, they must adhere to confidentiality laws set forth by section 6103(e) of the Internal Revenue Service. Section 6103(e) pertains to disclosing tax returns to a person with material interest including spouses, business partnerships, corporate board of directors, personal estates and trusts.

Taxpayers and third parties can use 4506 tax form to previous year tax returns and all attachments such as W2s, 1099, itemized schedules, and amended returns. A separate 4506 form must be used for each year of requested returns.

When taxpayers only need a summary of previous returns, they can submit Form 4506-T. The "T" stands for "transcript". This form is most commonly used by taxpayers filing for protection through bankruptcy courts.

In 2005, Congress enacted new bankruptcy laws requiring debtors to submit copies or transcripts of recently filed federal tax returns. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act states debtors must provide these documents to the bankruptcy court seven days prior to the first meeting of creditors.

Individuals need to request transcripts and tax return copies a minimum of 90 days prior to needing them. Experts suggest sending the request via certified mail with return receipt requested in order to assure delivery.

At present, the Internal Revenue Service charges $57 per requested return. Payment must be made by personal check or money order made payable to the United States Treasury. Taxpayers must include their social security or employer identification number and write "Form 4506 request" in the memo section of the check or money order.

4506 tax forms can be obtained for free from the IRS website at

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Published on April 28, 2009 at 03:08 AM

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