The primary difference between the IRS form 4506 and IRS form 4506-T is that 4506 is a request for full copies of income tax documents and 4506-T is a request for transcripts of the same documentation. The full copies include all the information available on the W-2, 1098 or whatever income tax documentation was originally submitted. The transcript is a line-by-line printout of specified information from the tax return. This information typically includes wage and income information, and tax payment records.
The cost difference between the two forms is also significant. To receive the document copies requested by form 4506, the cost is $57 per year requested, up to eight years. If more years are needed, additional forms will be necessary. Form 4506-T transcripts are provided by the IRS free of cost, with up to four years available per form.
Another notable difference is that a form 4506 can only request tax information four years old and older. For anything three years old or newer, it is necessary to file a 4506-T request. Also, it is necessary to file a 4506-T for verification of non-filing, as there are no copies available to prove that a return was not filed for a given year. Additionally, it can take the IRS up to 60 days to complete a form 4506 request. It usually only takes one business day to complete a form 4506-T request.
It is also necessary to note that the form 4506-T is only good for requesting information from certain types of return forms. The types available include W2, the 1040 series, 1065, 1099, 5498 and 1120 along with variants A, H, L, and S.
An IRS form 4506t-EZ is a request for transcripts of information from most lines of an original tax return. It may only be used for transcripts of 1040 series returns and does not include payments, penalty assessments, or adjustments.