Tax Returns vs. Tax Transcripts – Which is Better Income Proof?

15 May 2019

“Are tax transcripts showing income better than tax returns to submit proof of income?”

IRS tax transcripts are better proof of income because providing you tax return alone does not actually prove that they’ve been filed with the IRS or that you paid any taxes. Anyone can fill out a 1040 in 5 minutes online. So that’s not really strong evidence of income. IRS transcripts are actually from the IRS, Internal Revenue Service, and they show documented income that’s been filed with the IRS.

If you provide your tax returns instead of transcripts, you’ll also want to provide bank statements, pay stubs, pay statements, your W2s, or 1099s if you’re a contract worker. If you’re a business owner, it’s a little more involved. You’re going to want three years of tax returns. We also recommend six months of bank statements.

Tax transcripts are free, and you can order them online through the IRS website. It usually takes 45 business days to obtain your transcripts.

Disclaimer: The contents of this post were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publishing. Immigration is constantly changing, and old information often becomes outdated, including procedures, timelines, prices, and more. Take note of the publish date. For archival purposes, these posts will remain published, even if new information renders them obsolete. Do not make important life decisions based on this content. No part of this post should be considered legal advice, as RapidVisa is not a law firm. This content is provided free of charge for informational purposes only. If anything herein conflicts with an official government website, the official government website shall prevail.

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