Requesting Copies of Previously Filed Tax Returns

  1. How do I request copies of filed tax returns?
  2. What documents are available?

  1. How do I request copies of filed tax returns?

    All requests for copies of returns must be made in writing or in person using Form P-521. We do not accept requests by telephone or fax.

    Complete Form P-521 and mail it to Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Customer Service/Return Services, PO Box 8949, Madison, WI 53708-8949. Or, make your request at any Department of Revenue office. We provide tax assistance Monday through Friday, with one exception. Our Wausau office provides assistance only on Mondays from 7:45 to 1:00.

    You should receive your documents within three weeks if your request was complete.

    The search fee is $5.00 for each year/period you request, regardless of whether the information requested is located. If the information is not located, we will notify you by letter.

    For a certified copy, the search fee is $6.00 for each year/period you request. Certified copies are processed at our Madison office and must include payment. A $.20 fee per one side of paper is charged for correspondence, e.g., notices of refunds, assessments, etc.

    Include the following with all requests:

    1. Copy of identification containing photograph and signature of the person whose returns are requested (e.g., valid driver's license, state identification card, passport, or military identification).
    2. Copy of identification containing social security number and signature of the person whose returns are requested (e.g., social security card, U.S. Government issued Medicare Insurance card, or Internal Revenue Service (IRS) authorization for an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)).
    3. Other documents as follows:
      • If you are not the taxpayer, you must also submit a copy of a properly executed Power of Attorney, Form A-222, as authorization to receive this material. You may also use a tax authorization form or IRS Power of Attorney but those documents need to have the taxpayer's signature notarized (including stamp/seal).
      • If the taxpayer is deceased and there is an estate, include a certified copy of the domiciliary letter. If there is no estate, you must submit a certified copy of the death certificate and a letter stating the reason you need these documents.
      • If you are an officer requesting a business tax return and did not sign the business return, submit proof that you are an officer of the company. Other persons may also request copies, if they provide written authorization, such as the Power of Attorney, Form A-222, signed by the taxpayer, partner, or corporate officer. The requester must be an individual. Do not use a business name.

    NOTE: Either spouse may request copies of joint tax returns. However, a spouse may not request the tax returns of the other spouse if separate returns were filed, unless a properly written authorization, such as the Power of Attorney, Form A-222, is sent with your request.

    NOTE: A parent may request copies of their minor child's tax returns by submitting the same information and documentation that is required to receive a copy of their own return. If the child is over 18 years of age, a parent may not request copies of the child's tax returns unless a properly written authorization, such as the Power of Attorney, Form A-222, is sent with your request.

  2. What documents are available?

    The following chart lists which returns and other documents you can request and the most recent year plus number of prior years available.

    Returns/documents available Number of years
    Alcohol beverage 4
    Cigarette 5
    Corporation or insurance tax returns 10
    Fiduciary returns for estates and trusts 6
    Fuel 4
    Homestead credit claims 6
    Individual income tax returns 6
    Lottery and gaming credit late claim applications 2
    Partnership returns 4
    Real estate transfer fee 5
    Sales and use tax returns 10
    Tobacco products 5
    Wage statements (Forms W-2) 6
    Withholding statements 6

    Copies of most recent year returns are not available until they have been fully processed.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
Return Services Unit
PO Box 8949
Madison, WI 53708-8949
Phone: (608) 266-2890
Email: DORTaxReturnCopyRequests@revenue.wi.gov

October 6, 2014