IRS tax transcripts are required for i-485 filing. It should be your first preference to send transcripts instead of W2, 1040, or pay stubs.
Tax transcripts are available online as well as by postal mail. Online is fast and easy once you have created an online account on the IRS website.
IRS website has strict security and verifies your identity with various methods before letting you create an account.
You will need:
#1 Email Address
The first step is to verify the email. IRS sends you a code that you need to enter.
#2 Most recent Tax return details
Your First Name, Last Name, Date of birth, full address, and your SSN are required and it should match your most recent tax 1040 return.
IRS will ask you to enter this information after email verification.
#3 Credit Card / Home Mortgage Loan / Auto / Personal Loan number
Anyone of the visa, Mastercard, or Discover credit can be used.
IRS makes a soft inquiry on your credit file to very your identity. The inquiry will show up on your credit but will not reduce your credit score.
Debit cards or bank account information cannot be used here.
If you do not have any of the credit products, then your only option would be to use postal mail for transcripts.
Transcripts by post can take 7-10 days. If you cannot wait as your visa bulletin date might be running out, you can send the W2 and 1040 and then later submit the tax transcripts if you get an RFE.
#4 Valid US phone number on your own name
The last step is to verify your phone number.
Google Voice or a similar virtual number is not acceptable.
Once the phone is verified, the IRS will let you create an online account.
#5 Download Tax Transcript
Once your account has been created, you can immediately download all the tax transcripts easily.
Types of Transcript
IRS offers 4 types of typescript which may serve a different purpose. For filing an i-485 adjustment of status, we suggest downloading all 4 types and send it with your application package.
#1 Return Transcript
Tax Return Transcripts show most line items from your tax return (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules.
This transcript does not reflect any changes you, your representative, or the IRS made after you filed your return.
A ‘Return Transcript’ is good enough in most cases like bank loans including mortgages and student loans and immigration.
#2 Record of Account Transcript
Record of Account Transcripts combines the information from tax account and tax return transcripts.
#3 Account Transcript
Tax Account Transcripts provide any adjustments either you or we made after you filed your return.
This transcript shows basic data, including marital status, type of return filed, adjusted gross income, and taxable income.
#4 Wage & Income Transcript
Wage and Income Transcripts show data from information returns, such as W-2s, 1099s, and 1098s reported to the IRS.
The most recent year information may not be complete until July.
Names and Address Cut off On Transcript
Do not worry about the names and address cut off on the transcript. It is normal and is done intentionally to protect your personally identifiable information.
You can leave the customer file number empty for the purpose of getting transcript for immigration purpose.
This number is usually shared by a mortgage lender or other such financial institution who wants to verify your transcripts. They would share this number with you to match the transcripts later.
The transcript files are shown to you in XHTML format. The download might fail.
You should try the ‘print’ option and then save it as ‘PDF’ on your laptop, computer or mobile phone.
You should select the purpose of the transcript as ‘immigration’.
IRS tax transcripts should be your first preference. They are available free of cost and can be easily downloaded from the IRS website.
If you cannot get tax transcripts or running out of time to file your i485 application due to limited time left in current visa bulletin dates, you can submit your last year’s W2, tax return 1040, and pay stubs.
The ‘return transcript’ is good for filing USA green card i-485 adjustment of status application.
If you have filed your taxes as ‘married filing jointly’, then you can use the same tax transcript copy for whole family.
If you filed taxes individually, then each person in the family should get their own tax transcript from IRS website.
The kids are usually included on the separately filed tax return on either the father or mother’s tax return.