Disclaimer: The content is drawn from a variety of sources, including (but not limited to) articles, Internal Revenue Code and Regulations, Court cases, articles, and other unofficial resources. 

Transcripts from the IRS are often an important resource when working with taxpayer issues. Because of identity theft and other information sabotage, the IRS quit providing transcripts with important taxpayer information – like Social Security numbers, account numbers and other key data – by means of redacting (covering or removing) that information. 

Needless to say, there was a lot of push back from taxpayers and tax professionals alike. The IRS has responded by providing procedures to allow access to what has been redacted. The latest information can be found on irs.gov — https://www.irs.gov/individuals/about-the-new-tax-transcript-faqs. 

I’ll post some of the information from that link, but you should get a copy, read it thoroughly, and keep it handy. Note: This procedure is only for individual taxpayer transcripts. 

Here’s what is visible on the new tax transcript: 

  • Last four digits of any SSN listed on the transcript: XXX-XX-1234 
  • Last four digits of any EIN listed on the transcript:  XX-XXX1234 
  • Last four digits of any account or telephone number 
  • First four characters of the last name for any individual (first three characters if the last name has only four letters) 
  • First four characters of a business name 
  • First six characters of the street address, including spaces 
  • All money amounts, including wage and income, balance due, interest and penalties 

The IRS stopped faxing most transcripts on 6/28/2019. It also stopped third-party mailing in connection with transcript requests (4506 series).  Third parties were the tax resolution firms who got transcripts for taxpayers while working out tax debt solutions. 

Tax professionals with proper authorization may now request unmasked Wage and Income Transcripts through the Transcript Delivery System (TDS). The tax professional must have authorization (Form 2848, Power of Attorney or Form 8821 Tax Information Authorization). 

If you need an unmasked Wage & Income transcript, you may contact the Practitioner Priority Service line. If you have taxpayer authorization, but it’s not on file, you can fax the authorization to the IRS assistor (while you remain on the line with them). The IRS assistor will then send the transcript(s) to your Secure Object Repository (SOR), available through e-Services. Tax professionals must have an e-Services account and pass Secure Access authentication to use the SOR option. 

Transcripts will remain in the SOR for a limited time and automatically be removed after three days once you view it or after 30 days if it is not viewed.  Print or save the transcript if you want to keep a copy. 

Unenrolled practitioners must either be responsible parties or delegated users on the E-File application. EAs, CPAs, and attorneys are considered enrolled practitioners. 

Alternatively, taxpayers or other third parties who require an unmasked transcript for tax return preparation or filing may contact the IRS, present proper authentication to prove their identities and an unmasked transcript will be mailed to the taxpayer’s address of record.