How to Get a Copy of Your Arizona State Tax Return

In July 2010 I had a backup accident with my computer.  I’m still experiencing issues from that time.  One huge problem was that I used tax software and I had made an electronic copy of our income tax returns.  You know, trying to go paperless?   I think I’ve learned my lesson by now and won’t be going paperless any time in the near future.

I needed to recreate our tax returns and so I set about getting copies so that I could do so.

I requested the transcript of our Federal income tax return, and when the information didn’t seem like enough I ordered an actual copy. Actual copies cost $57, but I needed the information.

After I got the copy back in the mail I relaxed a little bit, and promptly forgot that I also needed to order our state income tax return.  I went to the Arizona Department of Revenue’s website thinking it would be fairly easy to find what I was looking for.

Of course not.

Logically I thought a form to request a copy of one’s tax return would be under Individual Forms. Dozens of individual tax forms are listed, but nothing to request a copy.

I finally called the state and learned I would need Form 450.   I thought I must have missed the form, so I went back to the site.  Again I could not find the form.  Finally I did a Google site search on the site and found that it is located under the Forms > Other tab.

Form 450 will allow you to request a copy of any form you are in need of. The checkbox choices are:

  • Individual Income Tax Return
  • Corporate Tax Return
  • Transaction Privilege and Use Tax
  • Withholding Tax
  • Other

I have downloaded a copy of the PDF which you can have by clicking here: Form 450.

When I talked to the state they told me they could send out a transcript of my return at no charge, so I had them to that just to see what would come back.  It was similar to the Federal transcript and I decided to order a copy of our state return. The state fees are much more reasonable than Federal.  They only ask for $1.00 for the first page and $0.10 for each additional page.

I didn’t know how many pages made up my return, so I sent a check for two dollars and sent a little post it note attached to the check and asked them to donate the remainder to the state.

When my “copy” arrived in the mail, it was the same thing as the earlier free transcript, along with a letter that said I’d overpaid for my copies and to watch for a check to arrive in the mail.

Uh… the return was five pages, so that means the state will be cutting a check for fifty cents.

Oh dear.  No wonder the state of Arizona is broke.

One more thing… when I put together my son AJ’s request for his state income tax return, out of habit I typed in my older son’s social security number.  We just received the letter back from the state telling us that there was no return available.

Finally all the copies will be here, and I’ll be able to start our income taxes for 2010.  I want everything in the tax software from last year so when the data is pulled over into the new year it will be correct.

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5 comments to How to Get a Copy of Your Arizona State Tax Return

  • kh

    I guess I don’t understand the issue here. Didn’t you keep an electronic copy of your tax paperwork? I have copies of my tax returns in .pdf format back to 2000. I keep a copy on my hard drive and a copy on my external drive which is archived. Blaming being paperless is silly … if you didn’t take precautions to make backups, it’s no different than if you lost the paper copy and didn’t have a backup somewhere.

    I don’t get people who think that going paperless with one copy on a hard drive is any different from having one paper copy in a file box somewhere. Having one copy of anything is risky.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @kh, hi. At the first part of my post I linked to the backup accident where I went into great detail on exactly what happened. One of many problems was that my Carbonite was not backing up as it should have been. As I mentioned, I made an electronic copy, but it was lost in the backup accident. I think everything will make more sense if you read the backup accident post. I had the electronic copy and I was making backups, and I had Carbonite. As sometimes happens for us humans, everything worked against me. Had I printed out a hard copy, I would not have had to spend $57 to buy one from the IRS. I will from now on, in addition to Carbonite and routine monthly and weekly backups of pertinent files, print out a hard copy! I hope that helps to explain any confusion. Thanks for visiting and commenting, kh!

    [Reply]

  • One brief constructive comment, I am very much “into” paperless backups of everything in my life (more because I am fast on computers and lazy about taking care of paper , than probably any more intelligent or fancy reason, but…)

    The solution to the question, “what about if my PC crashes and burns”, is simply to backup in 2-3 places, but all ONLINE, not on your PC. I save all of my important PDFs in 2-3 places, the 2 primary of them being very simple and available to everyone: my Yahoo email – unlimited storage and the same email I’ve had for 15+ years, and my Gmail.

    The chances that BOTH of them will become unavailable to me anytime in the next 5-10 yrs are pretty much Nil. And the likelihood that at least one of those companies will better handle/save my data than any individual person would themsevles (including me) is much, much better.

    Then I keep them on my personal PC of course, too, but since I buy $50 PC’s off craigslist, I don’t trust them much (and neither should anyone).

    Paperless is the bomb – just have at least 2 solid places, and all of them should be “online”, on the server of a major, trusted company, nowhere else.

    I always pay $19/yr for Yahoo’s premium version, when you’re a paying customer anywhere you can expect more help if things go bad.

    [Reply]

    Isaac P Reply:

    Oh, I was just going to add.

    Of course, if you’re the type of person as some people are, who for some reason ‘change’ your email address every year or so, the whole strategy doesn’t work. but no one should be doing that, the easiest way to live is get a good email address (an email address that you like, that isn’t making a joke or a cute-sy phrase, isn’t dependent on a temporary friend/hobby’s name, and that you can live with forever) and then KEEP IT forever.

    If everyone did this, and paying a few bucks for a ‘premium version’ isn’t a bad idea, choosing a company that’s going to be around for a long time or isn’t going to disappear overnight at least, then this method would work for 99.9% of the population.

    [Reply]

  • You know I wish there was an “edit” button instead of just adding replies.

    Another comment I was going to make.

    Forget about tax “software” people – !!! I wish folk would understand that instead of paying $100 for software, you can pay $25 each year and do it ONLINE – a version that will never be “lost” (just acces the internet, log in, and there are your previous years returns!!), and you won’t have to learn to use any software either.

    I don’t get people that buy Intuit and Turbotax software packages in Best Buy, when you can simply open the internet and go to http://www.turbotax.com and complete the whole thing.

    It’s the exact same software, except you don’t have to learn anything about using it, you don’t have to install and store the data, and they store all of your info for you. It seems like a no-brainer to me, but maybe I am missing some secret hidden reason why some people still “buy” the software…

    [Reply]

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